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Hiss Frances M. Molera 



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" Summer isles of Eden, lying in deep, purple spheres of sea." 


With Map and Illustrations. 






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THIS volume faintly describes the delights of 
our Grecian home at Prinkipo, among the Isles of 
the Princes. It is intended as a souvenir and 
record for each of us. It recalls our pleasant 
sojourn in those classic isles, and the many cour- 
tesies bestowed upon us, " strangers in a strange 
land." We both desire to give our appreciation 
and thanks a form more substantial than that of a 
memory merely. Here we can attempt this, and 
make our response in grateful recognition of the 
kindness with which we were received and the 
happiness of our sojourn. 

It is fit, therefore, that to you, my dear wife, I 
should dedicate this volume ; for if we have 
achieved any measure of success, socially or other- 
wise, in our island home, may I not say that it is 
due to those qualities of kindness and complai- 
sance which you possess, and which have made 
our lives one in an ever increasing circle of 
felicity ? 

S. S. Cox. 



THIS little volume is the episode of a summer's 
enjoyment and observation among the Princes 
Isles, in the old Propontis. It is intended to be 
a recital of the many diversive excursions in and 
around these islands and the adjacent places in 
Asia and Europe. It is supplementary to a more 
complete account of the author's experience while 
minister of the United States to Turkey. That 
account, in its fulness, is to be found in a volume 
entitled " Diversions of a Diplomat in Turkey," 
published by C. L. Webster & Co., of New York 

These Isles of the Princes lie in sight of Stam- 
boul and its splendors, and of the mountains of 
Asia, dominated by the Mysean Olympus. They 
are glorious in physical loveliness. They are still 
the "Isles of Greece," although under Ottoman 
rule. Out of their blue waters, at morn and 
eve, the beauty of the Grecian myth arises, to 
grace the isles with her smiles. Upon them burn 
" the larger constellations." They are fitly named 
" Isles of Princes. " Upon them the palaces of the 



princes of old Byzantium were erected. Here, 
too, were their monasteries and prisons. The 
relics of these lines of civil and ecclesiastical 
empire are nearly all faded ; but the monas- 
teries of the Orthodox Greek Church still hold 
here their eminences, as well by virtue of their 
antique titles as by their superb situations. 

Under the light of these associations, and with 
the fantastic glimmer of human caprice and pas- 
sion which the pages of Gibbon best picture, and 
under the constantly recurring phases of the 
"Eastern Question," the summer of 1886 was 
passed by the writer. 

The impressions herein recorded cannot, per- 
haps, be of more than fleeting interest to the 
reader. Their very diversity indicates the sepa- 
rate and distinct hues of a prism, and these give 
their colors to the author's pages. 

S. S. Cox. 

NEW YORK, May i, 1887. 



















TRICITIES . ...... 189 







LEUM 249 

TIGER HUNT ....... 



OLYMPUS ....... 










VIEW OF PRINKIPO Frontispiece 

ALBANIAN POLICE ........ 14 


PEDDLER OF MEATS ........ 52 






GREEK GIRLS ......... 106 






BEGGAR . . 144 



HALKI .......... l6o 









" FAR AWAY MOSES " 37** 








THERE are nine of these isles, of which five 
Prinkipo, Halki, Antigone, Proti and Terevinthos 
(Androvichi) are inhabited; the other four 
Oxia, Plati, Nyandros and Pita are uninhabited. 
The five first-mentioned have been inhabited for 
ages past. The great Doge, Henry Dandolo, who 
was the soul of the Fourth Crusade, advised the 
Crusaders, who were then encamped at San Ste- 
fano, just beyond the walls of Constantinople, 
" not to forage in the Thracian plains, but rather 
to try these islands qui sont habitues de genz y et 
labor ^es de blez et de viandes et d'autres biens" 

They were called in ancient times " Demonisi," 
and under this appellation they are mentioned by 
Aristotle, who says of one of them : " Demonisos, 
an island of the Chalcedonians, deriving its name 


from its founder, Demonisos, famous for the gold 
dust it produces, which is most valuable as a cure 
for those suffering from the eyes." 

The Turks call them collectively " Khizil Ada- 
lar " Red Islands from the peculiar color of 
their soil. 

The early Roman had a taste for beauty. 
When he became master of the East the mythical 
and mystical beauty of the Greek islands allured 
him. He liked the climate, which the sea softened 
alike during summer and winter. The islands of 
the Bay of Naples became favorite abodes for the 
opulent of Imperial Rome, and Lesbos, described 
as a noble and pleasant island by Tacitus, was a 
royal retreat for a Roman governor in exile. 

Some liken these isles and waters to those of 
the Malayan archipelago. There the scenes are 
tropical and the waters luminous with phospho- 
rescent beauty. Those who have seen the inland 
sea of Japan, compare its charm of water and sky 
to the deep blue sea and overarching glory of 
the Grecian isles. I have often been reminded, 
w r hile sailing amidst these isles, of the sunny 
sheen and the verdant hills and mountains of our 
Antilles. In praising the Princes group I give 
the palm to no other scenery, for to the beauty 
of nature in the islands of Greece, like those of 
Prinkipo and the other Isles of the Princes, there 
is an added charm : it is that of historical and 


poetical associations. Their historical associations 
are the annals of ancient empire, Asian and Euro- 
pean ; and their poetical associations have as their 
aureole a golden radiance, under which 

" Mildly dimpling, ocean's cheek 
Reflects the tints of many a peak, 
Caught by the laughing tides that lave 
These Edens of the Eastern wave." 

There were nine muses. The Princes Isles are 
the same in number as those sisters. The muses 
had various functions in the hierarchy of song. 
These isles have a similar condition in the econ- 
omy of nature, not to speak of their artistic utili- 
ties. Their beauty and allurements are as varied 
as the hues of the waters around them. Yet they 
are similar; and, notwithstanding differences in 
history, size and cultivation, they cannot be ac- 
counted aliens to each other. The same geology, 
the same sun, the same production, the same in- 
sects even, give them a unity in variety which 
would be as pleasing as one of Sophocles's plays 
to a scholar or as the E pluribus unum to a patri- 
otic lover of our starry ensign. Like the Iris 
which is seen with every dash of the clear water of 
the Propontis (or Marmora) varios insula col- 
ores, this group, unless we except the bay of Na- 
ples, is without a peer in the archipelagoes or 
waters of our globe. 


The isles are on the latitude of New York 
but they have not its winter sleet, snow, chill, and 
inclemency. They are a little south-east of Con- 
stantinople. They are sheltered from the harsh 
winds of the Black Sea, as the Bosphorus is not, by 
the northern range of Asiatic mountains. They 
take on the climate and characteristics and have 
the same people that inhabited the Isles of Greece 
of which Homer and Byron delighted to sing. 

It is difficult to affirm after the lapse of many 
hundred years that the people who reside upon 
the shores of the Greek islands are other than 
a mixed race. They are of the Greek, Roman, 
and Turkish races. Their only sign of patriotism 
is a fervid attachment to their own islands and 
the emotion by which they are bound to their or- 
thodox religion. One must go inland upon these 
isles of Greece to find the Greek of our classic en- 
thusiasm and patriotic frenzy. In this respect the 
Isles of the Princes are exceptional. The body of 
their population is of unmixed Greek origin. It 
needs no ethnographical chart to show this ; the 
features of the people demonstrate it. The pop- 
ulation is nearly all Greek. It numbers over ten 
thousand. Their government by the Porte is 
hardly felt. 

Mohammed II., the conqueror of Constanti- 
nople, was wiser than his contemporaries. The 
Greeks were allowed by him, through their own 
officers, to supervise their own ceremonious relig- 


ion in the very city of Constantinople. That 
Sultan pensioned many of the Greek clergy to 
keep up the establishment of their faith. He did 
not antagonize the millions in the provinces of 
Greece who were under the crescent. He was 
content to exact from them only the recognition 
of his secular power. These isles were given in 
fee to the Greek population. Thereupon they 
flocked hither, with such wealth as was spared to 
them from the sacking of the city. Here they 
found already built their religious houses and 
churches, sacred for a thousand years to their 
faith. Here they built their villas, and thence 
daily sailed in their pinnaces to the city, when on 
business or pleasure intent. 

What kind of a government have these isles ? 
Upon some of them, the smaller ones, like Pita, 
Androvichi, Nyandros and Oxia, there are no resi- 
dents. Upon Plati Sir Henry Bulwer's Isle, so 
called there are a few folk cultivating the soil 
under an Armenian peasant. This peasant is the 
gentle castellan. He watches the tumble-down 
castles which the English minister erected in one 
of his eccentric moods. Consequently upon only 
four of the isles is there need of a government or 
police. What do the police here ? 

One of their functions is the protection of the 
few trees from the goats. The islands are trav- 
ersed daily by herds of these voracious animals. 


They are generally associated with the gentlest of 
big-tailed sheep. Both are under one shepherd.' 
But as the goat will eat anything, even an Ameri- 
can petroleum can, and especially as he will climb 
the rocks and almost trees for anything verdant, 
he is the pest, not only of these isles, where some 
verdure is left, but of the Orient. When the 
young boys and girls who are shepherds are aloof 
from the forester, owner, or police, in remote 
places, they help the goats to make havoc of the 
woods and foliage. In these countries, almost de- 
nuded of trees by fire and war and reckless peas- 
ants who know and care nothing for the sanitary, 
climatic and agricultural value of trees, this devas- 
tation was simply inevitable. Cyprus was, until the 
English control, almost ruined by the greedy goat. 
Last summer, when venturing up the pretty creek 
out of the Bosphorus, whereon are situated the 
" Sweet Waters of Asia," a mile or more with the 
meandering stream, I saw a couple of gentle shep- 
herd youths, with a flock of goats, on the beauti- 
ful hillside. The boys were in the trees. They 
had " little hatchets " and saws. They were cut- 
ting off the limbs for the sustenance of their flock. 
Thus passeth away the glory of these little Leban- 
ons of Asia ! 

These isles, however, are now pretty well 
guarded. They bid fair to preserve what bosky 
beauty and sylvan shade they have. 


The Sultan is wise beyond most of his subjects. 
He preserves the grand Belgrade forests, in whose 
cool haunts, from the borders of the Bosphorus to 
the Black Sea shore, there are miles of splendid 
roads through deep, verdurous alleys and paths, 
for equestrians and carriages. Deer still frequent 
these woods. These Belgrade woods are made 
famous by the vivid descriptions of Lady Mary 
Montagu, who sojourned there when her husband 
was minister. Besides this forest, the Sultan has 
made his grounds about Yildiz palace umbra- 
geous in trees and shrubs, and tasteful in pretty 
lakes and fountains. Photographs of these he 
has had taken. He requested me to send, to the 
President these pictures. This I have done. He 
desires some of our American indigenous trees, 
being partial to conifera, as he contemplates en- 
larging his forest domain, to remove the reproach 
of barrenness from the hills which overlook the 
Bosphorus above the palaces of Beckitash and 
Dolma Batche. To make this plan a success, the 
omnivorous goat must go ! But as long as the 
peasant relies on the goat for milk, he is loath to 
let him go. 

Although the Bosphorus is fifteen miles away to 
the north from our Prinkipo home and isle, still it 
is within my bailiwick, though not within that of 
the police system which obtains here. Formerly 
these nine Princes Isles were attached to the 


" Sixth Circle," or Prefecture of Pera the city on 
the hill opposite Constantinople proper, or Stam- 
boul. It was owing to the skill of Blacque Bey 
the Prefect, or Mayor, of the "Circle" that these 
isles improved. But recently the isles have been 
added to the Prefecture of Ismid, whose capital, 
at the end of the gulf of that name, is famous 
in the annals of Bithynia, in her earlier Roman 
and more recent Byzantine ecclesiastical history. 
However, the rule is nearly the same as when 
Blacque Bey was the Prefect. The government 
is still based on the ideas of municipal rule, with 
considerable freedom about taxation ; for the peo- 
ple are allowed voluntarily to pay for their own 

The government of the isles is so much mixed 
that it is more difficult to understand its philos- 
ophy than autocratically to administer it. To 
understand its combined central and local charac- 
ter you must study its Turkish features. In the 
old Arabic legislation municipal rule was not the 
exception. The Ottoman did not greatly change 
the general polity and administration of affairs 
when Turkey was conquered from the Greeks. 
Both systems were decentralizing. In the old 
Greek system there was much reserved to the 
provinces and the people of the localities " respec- 
tively." This was the mainspring of Grecian sur- 
vival and of Turkish continuance. One of the 


changeless things in this country is the fixed fact 
that, while the Greek emperors ruled there were 
the same capitulations or privileges extended by 
the Greeks to the Turks as the Turks now extend 
to the Greeks and Franks. The concessions went 
almost as far in religious matters as those of Lord 
Baltimore and Roger Williams ; so that the Mos- 
lem had the privilege of erecting mosques within 
the very heart and walls of the Stamboul triangle ; 
just as now the American Bible House and Fe- 
male Home School, not to speak of the American 
(Robert) College, are tolerated within its jurisdic- 

The Sultan is, when he chooses, practically 
absolute. He controls purse and sword. Al- 
though the " Gotha Almanach " puts the govern- 
ment down as a constitutional monarchy, it is so 
in form only. There was a constitution adopted 
on the 23d of December, 1876, under some up- 
heaval, but it remains a dead letter. The Sheik- 
Ul-Islam represents, the spiritual power of the 
Caliphate. He is neither priest nor magistrate, 
but an interpreter of the sacred Koran, which is a 
law for the realm, except when the Sultan dis- 
penses with the interpretation. There are titles, 
but no nobility, no hereditary lords. " Effendi," 
the name by which the princes and even the ''hon- 
orable women " are called, is no more than 
" Esquire." Other titles, such as Aga and Pasha, 


are only convenient handles to names like Tewfik, 
Ali, Mustafa and Mehmet. There is a title repre- 
senting the controlling power, by which the ad- 
ministration is known viz., the Sublime Porte. 
It is a locality, on or near the Seraglio Point, 
where the Bosphorus flows into the Sea of Mar- 
mora on one side, and the Golden Horn flows 
into the same sea on the other But as all names 
of places in Turkey have an inner meaning, so 
Sublime Porte means the exalted seat of justice. 
As the Bible tells us, justice was administered " at 
the gate," or "porte." It was the Oriental cus- 
tom. So that this gate is known as the gate of 
justice par excellence ! 

The empire in its grand divisions is made up of 
vilayets. These are governed each by a Viceroy. 
There are subordinates, like governors of counties, 
called Mudirs, or of divisions of counties called 
Kai'makam. The Governor of this isle of Prin- 
kipo is a Kai'makam. Sometimes these officers, 
especially in Christian neighborhoods, are Chris- 
tians. Many of the Turks are descendants of 
Christians, and one-half of the population of Tur- 
key, which is estimated at thirty-six millions, are 
not Turkish. The idea of the government is 
patriarchal, whether it is practiced or not. What 
would seem anomalous in other countries is here 
a rule, viz., that there are governments within 
the government. These are patriarchal, and both 


civil and ecclesiastical in their functions. The 
Greek subjects in their internal affairs are ruled 
by their own laws and magistrates. There are 
heads to the Armenian, Hebrew, Greek and Latin 
communities. There is a Greek nation, Ooroom 
Milletti. It is ruled by a Council. In this the 
laity have much control. The Patriarch is called 
"His Holiness." With his bishops he forms a 
Synod in religious matters. Throughout the 
country, in every district, city and village, civil 
relations are regulated by these councils and 
synods, along with the ecclesiastical. The civil 
representative may be a Turk. The Kaimakam, 
or chief of this isle of Prinkipo, is now a Turk. 
He used to be a Greek. You scarcely see him or 
hear of him. He called on Admiral Franklin, 
when he anchored here with the " Kearsarge," but 
informed him that he had no residence, only an 
office, on the isle. He did not expect, therefore, 
the Admiral to return his call. I have not re- 
ceived a call from His Excellency; but I have 
heard from him, in an unpleasant way, when he 
interfered with my comfort and courtesy, without 
suspecting from my modest demeanor that I repre- 
sented some sixty millions of free-born Americans. 
I was cautioned against as the man with a high 
silk hat, who was guilty of some misadventure, 
not entirely in accord with his sense of decorum. 
When he learned his mistake, the correction was 


prompt and adequate. More of that hereafter. 
It is one of the mysteries of Asia ; and as these 
isles are in Asia, let us not pluck out its heart too 

Prinkipo, like the other eight " Isles of the 
Princes/' has a good deal of Home Rule. It is in 
the form of a Council, which is elected by the 
householders. It has power, in some way, to levy 
some of the taxes, but it takes care not to do it 
to any great extent ; for the revenue is taken to 
the city and becomes a common fund. This fund 
does not always inure to the good of the island, 
for there the taxes wherewithal to light, police 
and improve the isles, or at least this isle of Prin- 
kipo -are voluntary contributions by the rich folks. 
There are taxes the old octroi levied here upon 
donkeys and carriages. They pay for the removal 
of the garbage and to improve the streets and 
roads. Altogether the system is not the perfec- 
tion of municipal home rule. There are some 
thirty police, called zap ticks > in the town which 
is near the shore. These keep the peace, watch 
the scala (or quay) and shipping, and light the 
lamps. They seldom penetrate into the interior 
of the island, which is a dozen miles in girth. 

Once in a while, when sauntering over the 
heights of the island, or among the pines, there 
comes on you, unexpectedly, a strange-looking man, 
as if he were lost out of one of Ulysses's pinnaces 


in an erratic way, or just from Albania, or had 
been tossed out of the Cyclades by an earthquake, 
or swam ashore by some help of the Homeric 
gods or goddesses. He is in the old Greek cos- 
tume, with embroidered vest, large red sash, and 
baggy pants. As a sign of his Turkish subjection, 
he wears the red fez. In his sash he has some 
Damascus pistols, silver-mounted. They are as 
handsome and as harmless as those of our Ca- 
vass. There protrudes from the sash the jewelled 
handle of the Damascene dirk, or yataghan. 
There is a sword, or scimitar, by his side, and 
altogether he appears quite voluminous at his 
middle. He wears low shoes, adorned with silver 
buckles. He has them turned up at the toes, and 
high black silk stockings. His brow is corrugated 
with care. His hair and mustache are blonde. 
His frame is stalwart. Two dogs follow him 
about. What is his business? To protect the 
forest from goat, fire and spoilers. The trees must 
not be disturbed. Fig and olive, pine and pome- 
granate, on the road or by-paths, or over the stone 
fences, each and all are precious. The world does 
move ! 

This elaborate forester is from the Albanian 
mountains. He is too proud to make his avoca- 
tion known. He is yet to arrest any one. He 
trudges along as independently as if he were in 
his native Croatia. He is one of the hardy race 


of mountaineers which has seen much fighting. 
He is on good terms with my Dalmatian serviteiir, 
Pedro Sckoppegalia. I hope the forester's name 
is not so unpronounceable as Pedro's. 

Besides guarding the forest, vines and fruits of 
the isles, these men act as private guards to houses 
and grounds. They are good, orthodox Greek 
Christians ; and whether as Slavs or Greeks, I sup- 
pose they love Russia more than Turkey. There 
are not many of them, but they give picturesque- 
ness to the scene. 

No robbers are on the isle. As some one said 
to me : " If a robber should make a raid here, how 
could he get off the island without being caught?" 
The beggars are few and are easily satisfied. 
They are a law and a police to themselves. There 
does not seem much necessity for these guardians 
of the vine and pine, fig and pomegranate, for few 
people here lock their doors at night, much less 
their garden gates. 

Altogether the population seems to be happy 
and contented. Whether it be the fisherman sit- 
ting on the sand, mending his nets after the apos- 
tolic method, or the little girls plucking the grapes 
in the vineyard and figs in the orchards, or the 
women attending their children and their washing, 
the song ever goes up from cheerful throats and 
well-fed stomachs. The prevalent song is Greek. 
It has a weird, quaint melody of which I have 



heard snatches in some comediettas at the Casino 
in New York. 

There can be little use in having much police 
on the islands, as at nearly every point you meet 
groups of honest people. The carriers with their 
kegs of fresh water on their donkeys, the fruit 
venders and foot peddlers, and the donkey-drivers 
or parties are everywhere. Bevies of girls and 
children are in the woods, sitting on or playing 
among the rocks, or ensconced amidst the aromatic 
shrubbery. There are no Naiads here. All are 
Dryads ; for there are no fountains, only wells ; 
and trees in plenty, where the wood nymphs cluster 
and chatter and laugh their golden moments away. 
Sometimes, wlfen the bands play at the restaurants, 
or a Bohemian comes along with his hand-organ, 
the young folks have a dance. There is much 
provision on the isle for picnics and parties. The 
steamer from the city, especially on Sunday, brings 
its thousands to the isle for pastime, and they 
make the hours fly on winged feet. 

Although there are many and various people so- 
journing on the isle some of whom are occasion- 
ally addicted to bier de Vienne, and the horrid 
mastic or whiskey of the country I have not seen 
one case of drunkenness, fighting, or quarrelling. 
The policeman, therefore, when not a gay and 
happy forester is almost supererogatory. 

The roads are in admirable repair, and fit for 


the finest vehicles. Occasionally an invalid lady 
ascends the mountain in the old sedan chair. The 
paths up and down are for donkeys and promenad- 
ers, who flock over the island from morning till 
evening, in search of cool spots and al fresco din- 
ing. Now and then these social amenities indicate 
a church/^ or love making; for the women of 
the isle have rare Hellenic beauty and coquettish 
ways. Besides these promenaders, you meet fre- 
quently the peddlers of all kinds of wares, cakes, 
confections, fruit and water. Everything you 
want here, from a needle to a pair of shoes, from 
a peach to a glass of ice-cream, is brought to your 
very hand. The water that you drink is drawn 
from wells in the valleys on the north and south 
sides of the isle. The proprietors own a donkey 
drove. They fill four casks of pure cool water 
from the deep wells, rope the casks with equipoise 
dexterously on the donkey's back, and dispense it 
around to the private houses and restaurants. 
Water costs about half a piaster a keg, or two 
cents. Some of these venders of water and things 
are hamals. They bear great loads from the scala 
and ferries to any part of the island. They are 
duplicates of the stalwarts of Stamboul, who can 
carry 600 or 700 pounds of furniture, trunks, or 
what not up the hills and never turn a hair. 

In my summer life here, I have yet to meet 
from the people, old or young, one act or look of 


discourtesy, or observe one Bad Boy made after 
the similitude of Peck's. The Greek origin of the 
people has given them graces beyond the reach of 
art, and my summer at Prinkipo has been a revel 
in the very heart of nature. 



THE map will show the relative position of the 
isles to Prinkipo and to each other and to the 
main land and city of Constantinople. Oxia and 
Plati seem from the other isles like barren rocks 
in the sea. This is one of the illusions. Proti, 
Antigone and Halki are about of equal size. 
They are nearest the city. Androvichi lies east 
of Prinkipo. It has but one resident on it. You 
may guess his occupation by the great gash he 
has made on its western side, from whence comes 
the marble and out of which he makes the lime for 
transportation to the city. This isle has no culti- 
vation, unless the smoke that ascends from his 
lime kilns indicates an ancient cult and a pious 
sacrifice which Homer so frequently records. 

Nyandros, another island, is off the southern end 
of Prinkipo. From the top of this latter island 
Nyandros seems to be a part of Prinkipo, but it is 
really two miles away. Pita is a very small islet, 
between Halki and Antigone. It is not peopled. 
The other islands are visited by strangers as sum- 



mer resorts, besides having a goodly number of 
inhabitants who live there the year round. Prin- 
kipo, however, is the chief. It is facile firinceps. 
The island is some ten miles around, with a rare 
variety of mountain and intervale. 

The Turkish name for Prinkipo is Buyuk-Ada, 
or " Large Isle." This is the appellation given to 
it by the ancient Byzantines. The history and 
reminiscences connected with the ancient nunnery 
established in this place, and to which the Empress 
Irene was provisionally confined, are more or 
less accurately given in Schlumberger's " lies des 
Princes." Where the monastery of St. Michael's 
now stands, on the northern side of the isle, 
there existed in former times a large village. It 
was called by the Byzantines " Karya." The 
church attached to that monastery used to serve as 
the parish church of the village. The monastery 
now belongs to the patriarchate of the Greek 
Church and is rented by an abbot. 

The monastery of Christos is also of very an- 
cient date. Beginning from just beyond our villa, 
on the mountain side, its premises run down to 
the Diaskalon or picnic grounds. The sur- 
rounding lands belong to this monastery. Up to 
1870 the building was a perfect mass of wooden 
ruins, including the church. In that year the pres- 
ent Patriarch of Alexandria, then Patriarch of 
Constantinople, having been deposed from his bea- 


tific title and place, retired to Prinkipo. He set to 
work to restore the tumbledown wooden hut which 
served as a chapel. With the help of contribu- 
tions from wealthy friends, the church, under the 
personal superintendence of the ex-Patriarch, was 
rebuilt of stone as it now stands. The monastery 
itself was only restored last year, 1885, by the 
present abbot, mostly at his own expense. This 
abbot is an active and hard-working man. He 
devotes his whole time to the cultivation of the 
lands belonging to the monastery. He is also a 
large wine and spirit brewer, and the products of 
his brewery are renowned all over Constantinople 
for their purity and excellence. 

I am sure from observation and taste that the 
wine of the isle is more plentiful and delicious 
than the water. The latter is nearly as costly as 
the wine. 

I have been told by those who have dug on the 
island for water that Prinkipo is somewhat different 
from the other islands geologically and mineralog- 
ically, and that parts of it differ from other por- 
tions. This is accounted for, of course, by some 
remote cataclysm. Like the other isles it has its 
depressions and elevations. These give a curva- 
ture to the horizon which adds many a grace. 
Upon the tops of the mountainous portions are 
situated Greek colleges and monasteries. These 
give the name of " Scholastic " to Halki, and would 


give that of " Pious "to Prinkipo were not Prin- 
kipo so superb in her worldly adornments. 

Halki has three seminaries of learning : two 
Greek and one Turkish. The last is a naval 
school. Prinkipo has three monasteries. These 
isles, especially Halki and Prinkipo, are accessible 
from the city of Constantinople by the Shirket 
ferry. It leaves the bridge over the Golden Horn 
several times a day, and makes the trip in an hour 
and a-half. The Turk sets his clock and watch by 
the sun. He begins his day at sunset. The time, 
therefore, varies. This produces, until you are 
accustomed to it, many misadventures. The pop- 
ulation who come to these islands consult the daily 
journals for the exact minute when the boats leave 
the bridge at Constantinople and the quai at the 
isles. There are two good hotels in the town of 
Prinkipo, and these are well patronized in sum- 
mer. Of the other isles, besides Prinkipo, I will 
hereafter dilate at pleasure, for from Prinkipo 
with our steam launch, which Congress was good 
enough to vote the minister, we can take our time 
to visit and revisit these gems of the sea. 

What historic events have these isles witnessed 
during the thousand years of Greek empire in the 
East ? What palaces and prisons were here erected 
for living and fallen greatness when in power or 
banished? What did the Empress Irene in the 
ninth century for Prinkipo, when it was at the sum- 


mit of its splendor ? What has become of the very 
dust of these Grecian worthies and rulers, since 
the conquest of Constantinople in A. D. 1453, by 
the Moslem ? How happens it that only a few 
old monastic relics remain upon this consecrated 
ground ? These are questions under a veil of tra- 
dition, if not history, which even the regeneration 
of these lands has failed to bring fully to the light. 

The tourist who travels with Murray's red-book 
in hand will be disappointed at its meagre men- 
tion of the Princes Isles. It gives hardly a stick- 
ful to Halki ; and as for Prinkipo there is scarcely 
a finger's length of matter, and that has reference to 
the Empress Irene. That reference is all too brief, 
for the empress was a grand figure in history at a 
grand epoch. It hints at some spectacle of fallen 
greatness and vanished splendor witnessed in the 
first year of the ninth century, when Irene, the 
contemporary of Charlemagne and Haroun-Al- 
Raschid was banished from the throne of Byzan- 
tium to the convent which she had built at Prin- 
kipo. The convent remains on the north-eastern 
side of the island, and from its lofty site sweeps a 
splendid horizon of continent, isle and sea. 

This description was provocative. I sent to 
London and Paris, and scanned the libraries here, 
to find a full account of the antiquities and per- 
sonnel of this once regal isle. I heard of but 
one volume in French, by a German, Gustave 


Schlumberger, which would serve to elucidate the 
spectacle. But even this volume is faulty. I doubt 
if the writer ever visited the isles. Gibbon is 
always near, and so I turn to his grandiose pict- 
ure of the Eastern Empire ; but even he fails to 
give much of interest about the empress and other 
great personages, in their relation to our isle. In 
his forty-eighth Chapter, he makes a rdsumd of five 
centuries of the decline and fall, and he has eight 
more centuries before Constantinople succumbs to 
the Turk. He pursues its " tedious and uniform 
state of weakness and misery." He has " cor- 
nered " the great Roman name in the lonely sub- 
urbs of Constantinople. " As in his daily pray- 
ers, the Mussulman of Fez or Delhi turns his 
face toward Mecca," so the historic eye, as he 
phrases it, " is always fixed on Constantinople." 
Making this prelude the historian proceeds with 
stately step to open the prologue of swelling 
drama in which, then as now, Latins, Greeks, Bul- 
garians, Russians and Turks play their parts. 
Upon this stage moves Leo IV., son of the fifth 
Constantine. This Emperor Leo took an Athe- 
nian orphan girl to wife. She had great personal 
accomplishments. He was feeble ; she was not. 
It is the old story ; she was the ruler of the Em- 
peror, and at his death, by his will became Em- 
press-Guardian of all the Eastern Empire. The 
Prince, their son, Constantine VI., became her 


anxiety and care, next after the restoration of the 
worship of images, of which she was the champion. 
This image-worship was the burning question of her 
time. Upon this question thrones were upturned 
and synods thundered. The iconoclasts had been 
in arms and had been successful. After many 
trials the Prince succeeded in obtaining the throne 


and humiliating his mother, but he was soon de- 
throned by a counterplot of the wily Irene. She 
had his eyes put out. She had him assassinated. 
Ambition stifled all the good in her nature. 
Her crimes were horrible, but not more so than the 
crime of many other rulers at Byzantium during 
the Greek dynasties. Putting out the eyes and 
banishment to monasteries seem to have been the 
favorite penalty and pastime of princes in those 
days of unparalleled cruelty. Irene held her ill- 
gotten power only five years. She was wont to 
pass through Constantinople in her golden char- 
iot, drawn by four milk-white steeds. Their reins 
were held by patricians who had been made 
eunuchs by her edict. These eunuchs, with the 
cunning of that class, conspired against her. The 
great treasurer, Nicephorus, led the conspiracy. 
He was secretly invested with the purple and 
crowned in St. Sophia. Irene sought a retreat 
from her perfidious treasurer. This, her prayer, 
was granted ; but when she requested her treasures, 
they were refused her; for was he not a good 


treasurer ? But he graciously allowed her to re- 
tire honorably to the monastery of Prinkipo. 
It seems that this was too near Byzantium for his 
comfort, for he banished her to the Island of Les- 
bos. There, like good Penelope, she endeavored 
to atone for her unnatural crimes by a life of labor 
at the distaff. With this simple implement the 
empress, who had revelled in all the splendors of 
the Blachernal palace, was enabled to earn a 
scanty subsistence. 

What remains of the old Byzantine civilization ? 
Nothing but the walls, and even their eternity of 
strength has been broken. When the spring 
comes with its foliage, the moat around the towers 
that once protected the great city is a vegetable 
garden, and the blossoms of the peach, plum and 
the pomegranate give to its grassy mound their 
beauty and fragrance. What changes have taken 
place ! Who can tell whether man or nature, the 
sword or the earthquake, hath produced them ? 
When I was in Constantinople in 1851 I saw a 
large porphyry sarcophagus. It was once the 
tomb of the Empress Irene, when she was buried 
in Prinkipo. It had been converted into a water 
tank. It was in the old hippodrome. It is no 
longer even there. It matters not to us in Amer- 
ica or elsewhere now, what became of her tomb or 
of her treasurer. There may have been a Lord 
Elgin for the removal of the one and a convenient 


Canada in the archipelago for the other. One 
reign was similar with that of others. Another 
ruler soon follows. Eye after eye is put out with 
red hot irons ; and so on, until the Turk comes, 
though with a scimitar yet with some clemency 
about the year that Columbus went to seek Ca- 

The purple robe of the Orient which enveloped 
Constantinople, and whose resplendent fringes 
hung over these isles, was associated with the 
orthodox Greek religion. There was a closer 
relation of Church and State here than the union 
of civil and religious power at Rome. At no age, 
or country 7 , was there ever so permanent a system 
with so much of intrigue, cruelty, bloodshed and 
war, as at this historic point. It is the verdict of 
history that the incoming of the Turk was a bless- 
ing to mankind. 

In all these phases of power the monastery 
has played a great part. Nearly all that remains 
in these Islands of the Princes of the evidences 
and emblems of ancient empire are these old 
religious houses. They are not numerous, but 
they are monuments of Greek rule, long in con- 
tinuance, and at times resplendent in scholarship 
and jurisprudence. The Turks were iconoclasts. 
They spared little. Few of the images of the 
orthojdox church escaped their spoliation. They 
were religionists. They carne with fire and fury. 


Manuscripts, pictures, statues, altars and struct- 
ures fell before the Sultanic baton. Blindings 
and mutilations, however, crimes so horrible as 
to make Gibbon's page blush, no longer incarna- 
dined the azure Bosphorus or Propontis. In 
looking here for relics of those regal and monastic 
eras we find few. Even the pictures which the 
muse of history paints are but meagre, grimed 
and almost colorless. Open a page of Gibbon. 
Read the story of these emperors. Select one 
whom you may call a sample. Take Manuel. 
He was a Comnenus. In war he could not fight 
for peace ; and in peace he was incapable of war. 
He was an anchorite in the camp ; a Sardanapa- 
lus in the palace. No sooner did he return from 
the field to Constantinople than he resigned him- 
self to the arts and pleasures of a life of luxury. 
The expense of his dress, table and palace sur- 
passed the measure of his predecessors. Whole 
summer days were idly wasted on these delightful 
isles of the Propontis, in the incestuous love of his 
niece, Theodora gift of God, in the euphony of 
this rich tongue. Here and there we have such 
horrible hints as to these lovely isles, in the front 
of history ; but in vain have I looked for the 
grand palaces, or even their ruins, in this isle. 
Outside of the monasteries I have found but one 
old tower of doubtful tradition, and the founda- 
tions of what is known as Irene's palace. The last 


are on the north side and in the vale that divides 
the two high points of the island, a half-mile from 
our humble villa. You will know the spot by a 
dark-looking cave out of which much iron has 
been extracted. It is on the left hand of the road 
as you drive -eastward from the village. As you 
cross the stone bridge you see the tower and the 
wide foundations nearly hidden beneath the red 
soil and abundant foliage. If you desire some 
mosaics or something else archaeological take a 
pick, and do as my neighbor, Mr. Edwin Pears, 
author of the " Latin Conquest," has done : dig 
away the dirt and you will be rewarded for the 

When this palace was in the meridian of its 
existence, and before the Turks razed all these evi- 
dences of Greek luxury, this isle was as pictur- 
esque as art and opulence could make it. Being in 
sight of Constantinople, and with a climate where 
even winter smiles, it was the resort of princes 
and, of course, of the troop of hypocrites, parasites 
and favorites which Walter Scott has well pictured 
in his " Robert of Paris." 

What a race the Greeks were and are ! For a 
thousand years, and within my sight upon yonder 
Seraglio Point, and here upon these isles of their 
princes, they struggled and survived, after many 
an exhaustive contest with the Barbarians of 
the North and the Moslems of the East. Their 


colonies were their glory. Here the Ionian chil- 
dren of old Greece still held supreme honor. Pre- 
cocious often, but always intellectual, they ad- 
vanced in nearly all that modern philosophy can 
teach ; while Athens, the eye and soul of their pol- 
ity and art, "arose to an empire that can never 
perish until heroism shall cease to warm, poetry to 
delight and wisdom to instruct the future." 



THERE are 250,000 Greeks in Constantinople, 
of whom there are 120,000 r ayahs, or Turkish 
subjects. When Mohammed II. captured Con- 
stantinople, as I have said, he reserved the Isles 
of the Princes for the use of the Greeks who 
chose to remove there. Some thousands sought 
these isles as a residence ; their descendants yet 
seek them as such. These residents are the 
cream of the Greek population of the city. Their 
features, especially the rich complexion, the 
straight nose in a line with the symmetric brow, 
seem copied from one model, or rather that model 
is copied from nature. I find that model upon the 
wall of the Greek villa of which the writer is at 
present the occupant. It is a Minerva. It is 
grace, dignity and wisdom in one. 

Thirty years ago, just at the conclusion of the 
Crimean war, a lady Mrs. Hornby, wife of an 
English loan commissioner who was afterwards a 
judge in Constantinople wrote a brief chapter in 
her book about the delights of a farm on this 
isle of Prinkipo. She said : " We could buy half 



the island, with a garden and vineyard, for ^500, 
and build a good comfortable house with a fire- 
place and every comfort." Now, five million 
pounds sterling would not buy the property of the 
town proper, much less the splendid mansions 
which rise and front street on street. The streets 
are terraced from the sea up the mountain side 
to the pine forests which crown the summits. 

Upon the north-western side of Prinkipo there 
is a little city whose villas are rare in elegance and 
architecture, whose gardens have a hesperidean 
fruitage and bloom, and whose red-tiled roofs over 
the white or yellow buildings add a refinement to 
the town and isle which the bath houses at the 
water's edge, upon the jutting crags, themselves 
ornamental, in vain try to dispel. The rich Greek 
merchants and bankers, together with the English, 
German, French, American, Armenian and Swiss 
families, who summer here, have not only spent 
their money freely to decorate their own homes 
and grounds, but they have made winding roads, 
up hill and down, which cross and encircle the 
island. These roads are embowered most of the 
way by fig, olive and stone-pine trees. The culti- 
vated country is green at the opening of the 
season with the fig bearing its fresh fruit. The 
vines are putting forth their tender grapes. The 
pomegranates blaze with scarlet flowers. Hun- 
dreds, nay thousands, of people come to the isle 


from the city for health and recreation, attracted 
by these parterres, mansions and pineries. They 
often bring their provender along. 

There are several extensive restaurants on 
the island, where, upon the smoothed terraces, 
in the open air under coniferous canopies, with 
convenient tables and seats, there is plentiful and 
breezy room for picnic parties. Many invalids 
from all parts of the East are ordered here, to 
drink in the resinous ozone, while they lie on rugs 
under the groves which cover most of the isl- 
and elevations. While the carriage roads are as 
good as those of Central Park, the principal feat- 
ure of the isle is the donkey ride. This style of 
locomotion is quite as common here as in Egypt or 
the Riviera. The donkeys require much prodding 
and are not comparable with those of Egypt. 
The company for a donkey promenade may be 
made up of a dozen or more. It is guarded by 
the Greek donkey man, who, whether the animals 
go fast or slow, keeps up with the pace, and steers 
the beast cunningly by the tail, up hill and down, 
from the quay on the north-west to the rocky top 
of St. George on the south-east. Upon this 
height is a monastery of old associations, and an 
out-door restaurant with its conveniences for rest. 
What a prospect is here upon this point, overlook- 
ing land and sea, reaching from San Stefano in 
Europe to Mount Olympus in Asia ; and from the 


north, where the Alem Dagh lifts its mountainous 
observatory of 1460 feet for the tourist from Con- 
stantinople to the mysterious islets of Oxia and 
Plati, which leap out of the western sea, rock- 
ribbed but lovely ! 

The French have a proverb that a man who 
drinks once will drink again. It applies to travel- 
ling adventures. I began my travels to the Orient 
in 1851. Since then, from Hammerfest, the north- 
ernmost town in Europe, to the Atlas Mountains 
in Africa and the Nubian Cataract of the Nile, and 
from San Francisco west to Damascus east, I 
have viewed many rare scenes. The^e travels 
have been inspired by an unrest that belongs to 
my nature, by a curiosity begotten of reading, and 
by a romantic sentiment that defies the practical. 
Bayard Taylor's " Views Afoot" started me to this 
land of the Orient thirty-five years ago. But the 
most interesting journey of my life carried me to 
the Riviera on and along the Corniche road, and 
from thence to Corsica, Spain and Algiers. That 
trip was a search for " Winter Sunbeams." It was a 
sanitary tour, under Dr. Henry Bennet's direc- 
tion. The same prompting from an eminent 
physician of Constantinople impelled me to this 
isle of Prinkipo, here to summer. I had not seen 
these isles in 1851, nor when I again visited Tur- 
key in 1 88 1. Last summer, 1885, we made a 
hurried visit here in the launch of an Armenian 



banker. He is an American citizen and flies our 
flag, when the Kai'macam of the isle permits, over 
a grand tower at his villa overlooking the sea. I 
had then a glimpse, in the gloaming of the evening, 
and in a ride behind his high-stepping bays, of the 
rare mountains and valleys over which these roads 
run. But I did not dream then of the affluence of 
loveliness and sanitation which the isle possesses. 

The question may, perhaps, be asked : " How 
could you, as an officer of your country, accredited 
near His Majesty at Yildiz, live so far from your 
post as the island of Prinkipo, which is fifteen 
miles away,? " 

To this inquiry of the anxious tax-payer I re- 
spond : 

First: It is not so very far. I could reach the 
Legation Office within two hours from my home 
in Prinkipo. 

Second : In the summer season, and by the in- 
structions, I was not required to be at the Lega- 
tion more than twice a week ; only to be in call. 
I could go every day, as I generally did in 
the summer, if not for business certainly for re- 
creation. The bulk of my business is done at 
the island, which I tried to make an agreeable re- 
sort for all Americans who came that way. 

Third : It was a health resort ; and health is in- 
dispensable beyond all things. In the summer 
Constantinople itself, or Pera, where the ambassa- 



dors winter, is uninhabitable by reason of its 
stenches, dogs and heat. 

Had I arranged to spend another summer at 
Therapia, on the upper Bosphorus, with its endless 
round of visits, I might have made many more 
acquaintances and been more useful, perhaps, in 
gathering information about the endless Eastern 
imbroglio. But as health was predominant in my 
mind, I concluded to forego all this, in order to en- 
joy the refreshing and isolated delights of Prinkipo. 
This the steam launch, voted by Congress, happily 

Among the requisites for health, and especially 
in pulmonary and rheumatic disorders, is the res- 
inous quality of the pine. Bishop Berkley saw 
the poetic Star of Empire on its western way ; 
but he made also some practical observations 
about the use of tar-water in consumption. It is 
an old remedy. It is one of the virtues of Prin- 
kipo. Every breeze is laden with its essence ; 
every pine needle distils it. Some years ago an 
attempt was made in Germany to utilize the pine- 
needle for making paper. It becomes apparent 
that the workmen in the factory, who had been 
sufferers, are by handling the fibres made well. 
A learned doctor makes investigation. He discov- 
ers that the tissue of the leaves of the pine is 
composed largely of resinous and oily particles 
with curative properties. He separates the fibres. 


He finds that they resemble cotton or wool. He 
gives them a new utility. He weaves the wool 
into underclothing. He establishes a health-cure 
at Lairitz. He is hailed as a benefactor and is the 
recipient of many medals. Out of this seeming 
quackery cometh the pulse-warming underwear 
which is now working its marvellous results. But, 
as I found out for my own comfort, it is much bet- 
ter to inhale this subtle property than to wear it 
in flannels. And hence my sojourn at Prinkipo. 

Yet for all that, it cannot be disguised that the 
beauty of the isle and its social allurements had 
much to do with separating our home from those 
of the other Legations which summer on the upper 
Bosphorus at Therapia and Buyukdere. In glanc- 
ing over the diary of my wife, I find some para- 
graphs which describe these attractions. At that 
time we made the journey under the crescent flag, 
in the hospitable launch or mouche of our host. 
The voyage thus depictured allured us hither for 
our second year in the Orient. Along with some 
housewifely suggestions it will not be uninterest- 
ing to the female reader to scan a page or two of 
this diary : 

At ten A.M. we are afloat. There is some ques- 
tion as to the proper flag to sail under. We natu- 
rally prefer the stars and stripes, but our Capi- 
tano has already hoisted the crescent and the star, 
and as our host is of the Sultan's realm, though an 


American citizen, we acquiesce. Beside, it might 
be difficult to explain our wishes to the captain or 
sailors, since all on board are Greeks or Arme- 
nians except ourselves. 

We leave the dock at Buyukdere and secure 
the middle of the stream for the strongest current. 
It is a little misty toward the opening at the Black 
Sea, but the waters are indigo. The hills on the 
Asian shore are seamed and scarred by quarrymen. 
Out of their rocky sides many ribs have been 
taken to give life to the city below and the villas 
and palaces around. Upon the European side the 
hills are green, in varied shades, from the orange 
trees in the gardens at the water's edge to the 
dark umbrella pines above upon the hills and 
mountains. Here and there are some tints of a 
pale green. It is a double sign, first of the Ma- 
hometan color, and next of a Turkish barracks and 
fort. This is Sunday and all the flags of the Le- 
gations are flying. Jason's Mountain, tipped with 
a minaret, has a magic look and a far-away expres- 
sion. Are these birds, which we see flecking the 
blue water as if a part of it ? Yes, flocks of the 
" condemned souls," so called, which never seem 
to alight. They fly close to the wavelets. A few 
crows cross the stream without any noise. Some 
gulls of various species ride like Halcyon on the 
wave or dart down swiftly after schools of fish 
which fret the water in dark spots. Porpoises 


come up and tumble back, enjoying their Sunday 
out. These are but transient objects, and the eye 
returns to the curving lines of beauty which the 
hills make on either shore. We meet many 
strange, fantastic sails the vessels full of lumber 
from the Black Sea or fruit for the city market. 
The palaces of white marble seem to rise out of 
the blue water. We come to the narrowest place 
Roumeli Hissar, with its grand old towers and 
walls. It is a most picturesque spot. It combines 
with sky, water and land, a well-kept cemetery of 
the Moslems ever so unique, and antique houses 
ever so strange, dominated by these towers of Mo- 
hammed II., above, which are fit associates with 
the running, clear, potential stream below. Then, 
above all, we see the Robert College. It is 
American, as we know. I ask a friend : 

" What is that long row of twenty white houses, 
all alike, over in Asia?" 

" Warehouses for American petroleum." 
Ah ! if they should take fire at night Edwin 
Arnold would have to rewrite his " Light of Asia." 
Now and then the landscape is smirched by 
the black smoke of passing ferry steamers, which 
ply up and down and across the Bosphorus. We 
pass the big boats which under French, British, 
Russian and Austrian ensigns are going out to 
breast the waves of the Euxine on their voyages 
to Trebizonde, the Crimea, Odessa or Varna, for 


cargoes of grain and cattle to supply the millions 
of mouths in and about the capital. Far off, un- 
der their guise of misty beauty, lie the mountains 
of Asia Olympus towering with a double crown ! 

The day is a choice one as to wind and water. 
Our chat goes merrily round. The soldiers are 
drilling at the barracks on the Straits by the sound 
of the trumpet, the fishermen and venders of veg- 
etables ply their trade, and the city grows dim 
and dimmer in the distance. Now a quietude set- 
tles over our company. Some draw out their 
books, and others recline on the divans and lazily 
watch the plashing waves in the wake of this little 
dapper darling midshipmite of- the sea. 

But we are nearing our island. Lovely terraces 
and vine-clad hills greet the eye in every direction. 
We are closing up packages and gathering shawls 
and coats, when a sudden cessation in the ma- 
chinery creates as sudden a surprise. " We are 
stranded," says our Capitano. Our friend on board 
immediately lowers the flag to half-mast, and in ten 
minutes we see a little sail-boat bearing speedily 
towards us. Our host had seen the mishap. We 
are soon transferred and landed at the scala, or 
quay, where in carriages we are rapidly driven to 
our destination. The gravelled drive to the steps, 
the warm greetings on the balcony and the chaffing 
as to cold luncheons, are soon over. We settle 
down to a most thorough enjoyment of this lovely 


island home. We are a party of ten, and yet 
abundant room is found for night entertainment as 
well as day. The grounds without are terraced to 
the water's edge. Arbors, fountains, rustic bridges 
and cool grottoes tempt the straying feet. A lawn- 
tennis court is ready for its devotees. The caiques 
lie rocking idly on the water within reach of 
those romantically inclined. Even a small barca 
is unloading its generous supply of oats for the 
stables hard by at this private wharf. 

The house is large and airy filled with bric-a- 
brac of every description. I notice one peculiar- 
ity, similar to our Southern homes ! The " cui- 
sine " is apart from the house ; but connected there- 
to by a bridge. 

I ask the hostess, " What is it ? " 

She replies : " Oh ! we call that the Bridge of 

I think it is well named, if the mistress has often 
to entertain as generously as she is doing to-day. 
To my relief I found out afterward that there was 
a capable housekeeper on the premises to aid our 
lady hostess. 

One thing here strikes an American as peculiar, 
and yet it is a custom that might well be introduced 
with us. I refer to the breakfast hour. Each 
guest descends to the dining-room when he or 
she may choose, or may ring for coffee in their 
rooms. As coffee or tea, with eggs and bread, or 


some kind of confiture, jelly or jam only are given, 
it is not so difficult to serve one's guests. The 
custom gives ease and comfort to the lazy ones, 
and does not interfere with early risers. 

A drive around the island develops more beauty 
and shows us the most luxuriant vegetation. As 
we are lavish in our admiration, our host seems 
to enjoy our pleasure with us. 

" And to think," says he, ''it is only four years 
since, that I took these bare rocks in their savage 
estate and have thus transformed them. All the 
growth of tree and shrub is in that four years." 

It is indeed marvellous. But it belongs to the 
islands. It is entirely characteristic this lux- 
urious growth of plants and trees of every clime. 

" But," I ask our host, " where did you get this 
beautiful finish of room and hall ? It is not of the 
Turk Turkish ? It looks more like a home in 

tl Ah ! you are right there," he answers, " for 
every door, window and floor was imported from 
the United States." 

Our host and hostess are citizens of the United 
States. The orders given in the Turkish lan- 
guage seem quite musical to the ear, for as yet I 
have not heard much beyond street cries, which 
do not seem melodious. 

All visits must end. The pretty little three- 
year-old son of the host prattles away ; the young 


maiden daughter receives our parting adieus, the 
host and hostess are hospitable with renewed in- 
vitations, while we can only express our thanks 
and pleasure for all we have enjoyed. It has been 
a day of enjoyments unique indeed. The launch 
brings us safely to the city. Another day has 
gone by, idling in the Orient, but one rich in 
delight of sun and wave, sky and atmosphere, and 
charming entertainment. As I turn my eye to 
the East, to leave these bluest of waters and skies, 
" I drag at each remove a lengthening chain." 


Would you know how a cosmopolitan thus in- 
troduced to the Orient settles down into snug 
quarters at this end of the world ? It is not diffi- 
cult, after such an experience as the foregoing. 
At the risk of being tedious I will tell in the next 
chapter, in my own words, something more of our 




IF our jaded American citizens can race across 
the continent to the Rockies and Sierras to find 
the domes of the Yosemite and the geysers of the 
Yellowstone, or wander amidst the Alps of Switzer- 
land and the Highlands of Scotland, or sail over 
the Bay of Naples and through the fiords of Nor- 
way in search of health and change of scene 
why may they not venture here, to these " Isles 
of the Princes ? " They are only a fortnight 
from New York, or four days from Paris by the 
Oriental express railroad via Varna to Constanti- 
nople. A day at Havre or Liverpool, a day at 
Paris or London, another at Vienna, another at 
glorious Buda-Pesth, a dash at Varna on the 
Black Sea, and the next morning, at daylight, you 
are at Cavak in the Bosphorus. A rest at Stam- 
boul, arid in another day here you are ! in a villa 
of your own choosing, or at a hotel where there is 
every comfort, and where the scenery is unpar- 
alleled and the air balmy. 

Appreciating this suggestion, the American citi- 



zen, who pays for his minister abroad, will allow me 
to make a picture of our new home at Prinkipo. 
Already many of his compatriots of both sexes 
have been within its sanctuary. 

"Ah!" exclaims the travel-tired tourist from 
Oregon or North Carolina " ah ! what a solace 
and a joy to see the blessed old banner. No such 
beautiful ensign have I seen since I left Sandy 
Hook. God bless the stars and stripes ! It is 
all the dearer because no longer streaming upon 
sea or land outside of America." 

Thus is the loneliness of absence from home 
relieved by a little color, and a symbol which ever 
recalls to us our nation's pride and honor. 

Our house does not rival, nor, indeed, equal by 
many degrees, the superb chateaux of these fair 
demesnes, or other mansions wherewithal the isle is 
decorated ; but for seclusion, scenic prospect and 
proximity to the pine forests, as well as nearness 
to Legation work, it is all that the student, the 
doctor, or the aesthetic could desire. Half way up 
the mountain, it faces to the sea and the north. 
From its windows, if one could pierce the mountain 
range of Asia Minor, there would be seen the olden 
towers of Roumeli and Anatolia the ancient 
warders of the Bosphorus. But who would dispense 
with these beautiful ranges of mountains even for 
such romantic and historical additions to the view. 
The highest peak is about fifteen hundred feet. 


The range is crescent-shaped, as if emphasizing 
the national emblem. The foot hills and open 
vales reach to our Marmoran shore. They are 
covered with cultivated fields from the Pendik 
village and Phanar banks near Kadi Keui to the 
side opposite, far across the Prinkipo channel, 
which is here over two miles in width. What a 
view from Stamboul and its minarets to the 
white houses of San Stefano on the European 
shore! The Prinkipo channel, along with the isles 
of our small archipelago, is a lake in seeming. 
That illusion is kept up as the sea runs south-east- 
erly into the Gulf of Ismid, making the waters 
appear enclosed on every side. Along these 
shores are the remains of empire and commercial 

The mountains on this coast close our view. 
But is not the sea blue here, and the bays and 
harbors charming enough, without seeking to unroll 
the endless panorama of land and sea, city and coun- 
try, towers and mosques, mountains and clouds, 
which this terrestrial paradise furnishes to the en- 
chanted eye? Within a mile from our eyrie of 
observation we can view the waves shimmering in 
the morning sun and snowy sea birds riding on 
the deep blue waves. Then the Asian mountains 
are meshed at dawn in an airy web of many 
hues ; at noon, behold them radiant in celestial 
light ; and at eve, see the glow upon them from 


the west is one unclouded blaze of roseate and im- 
purpled living light ! 

I forget our household ! One cannot live upon 
the whip-syllabub of descriptive scenery, however 
entrancing the view may be. 

We found a villa ready to be rented to one who 
could "house-keep" it neatly. We wei approved 
as apparently the proper tenants by the owner, an 
elderly Greek lady of refinement and courtesy. She 
lets her villa to us as she is about to depart for the 
summer, to visit relatives in Athens. She leaves 
it as tidy as any New England dame could wish. 
In fact, as we alight at her gates about five o'clock 
in the afternoon they seem to fly open magically, 
and as we cross the threshold what a charming 
picture is presented by the little dining-table 
already prepared for its hungry guests, with its 
hot, steaming soups, and ttageres and vases all 
redolent of flowers, spice and fragrance. 

But how can the masculine pen describe the 
inner sanctuary of a home ? I call to aid the new 
house-keeper and from her house-book quote 
under protest : 

I said to a friend: " Is this a Greek house?" 

" Oh, I do not know that you would call it that 
exactly ; it is a house of the country." 

Let me then describe this " house of the coun- 
try " : The tall stone walls and iron grating com- 
pose the barrier and gateway. They are deco- 


rated with huge pots of hydrangea, in full bloom. 
The bell-knob hangs at this outer gate. You 
enter a tessellated plaza before the house. This 
admits you to the lower rooms, which are the 
servants' quarters. As the house stands on the side- 
hill, to find the front entrance you turn to the 
right and ascend the white marble steps. These 
steps are kept immaculate by Michealis, our 
bright factotum. Here the high portico offers the 
main entrance. A summer arbor covered with 
that house-decorating plant, the wistaria, reminds 
us of home, and graces the terrace. Above it 
waves our own red, white and blue bunting, for 
which Admiral Woods Pasha, a neighbor, has 
already kindly provided a lofty staff. Some sym- 
metrical fir-trees, a fountain with gold-fishes play- 
ing in the basin, and the garden in miniature, com- 
plete the terrace of the entrance. The black and 
white pebble-stones set on edge after the Pompeian 
manner, form fanciful designs of flower and foliage 
in the pavement which extends around the house. 
The tessellated walks remind us of the harem 
gardens of Cairo and the deserted earthquaken 
streets of Chios. A huge catalpa and a drooping 
willow adorn the kitchen court. The steps to the 
upper terraces are lined with fuchsia, geranium, 
snow-white jasmine, verbena and other gay flower- 
ing plants, while the terraces are fringed with 
lemon and orange trees, whose golden fruit would 

4 8 


have tempted Adam as well as Eve. It is quite 
beautiful to see the fruit and flowers at the same 
time upon these trees. They give present odor 
and promise for the future, even though we may 
not be the happy recipients of their favors. 

Enter the house and you are at once in a large 
square hall. This serves in summer-time as the 
general social room of the family. On the left 
and right are four large rooms. In some of the 
more palatial houses of the isle the entrance- 
hall includes two such end rooms, thus making 
one large airy apartment. Upon the ground 
floor we find a library and dining-room, both 
green and beautiful with foliage and flower. 
Folding glass doors at the end of the hall may be 
closed for winter or left open for summer. In 
either case, they reveal the stairway which leads 
to an equally open and airy hall above, supplied 
with wide divans in addition to other furnishings. 
The bow-window here extends over the portico. 
It makes an exceedingly attractive lounging 
or smoking room. In the cities of the East it 
is the practice to build this bow-window projecting 
over the street below, and at four or five o'clock 
in the afternoon, it is always occupied by a merry 
group taking tea, sweets, fruit, or Turkish coffee. 
Here they receive visitors or survey the outside 
world of gay promenaders, and make laughing 
comments on all that meets the eye. 


We are happy in finding our island home far 
up in the pure, dry air of the mountain amidst the 
forests of pine. Every room has the indispensa- 
ble divan ; and from the windows we have the ever 
lovely views of the Sea of Marmora and the Asian 
land, with their never tiring and ever changing 
phases. Even now, at the outset of our experi- 
ence, we have oranges, figs, and many vegetables 
from the gardens above, which are included in our 

It is amusing to hear the juvenile street venders 
call out in their long drawling falsetto some of 
these vegetables. The simple word bamia, be- 
comes ba-ha-mi-a-a-ah ! This vegetable is a nov- 
elty to us. It is not among our American prod- 
ucts ; but it proves to be relishable. All vegeta- 
bles and goods are " cried " before sold. They 
come to your door on the numerous donkeys that 
throng the island, or on the backs of the peddlers 
who carry great show-cases of their wares. The 
cries of the venders are monotonous, but they are 
often varied by the recitation of some blind strolling 
beggar. The latter goes his customary rounds 
and enlivens the intense quietude of our surround- 
ings by his plaintive appeal, in some verse of the 
Koran inculcating charity. I must say that he 
merits some reward, if it is only for his forbear- 
ance to ring the area-bell, with which our street 
mendicants of New York are all too familiar. 


Our gardener comes to us daily with his floral 
offering for the table. There is always efflores- 
cence enough for change and variety. This morn- 
ing, for instance, Xenophon's bouquet consists of 
the snow-white, sweet-scented jasmine. He looks 
quite pleased when I compliment its beauty and 
his taste. I ask to see his manner of arranging 
the flowers. He has cut a pine branch with its 
needles, and each tiny blossom is strung on each 
needle point, thus saving the ravages of the scis- 
sors on the plant, and making a neat cluster 
bouquet in quicker time than our laborious gar- 
deners with their broom-stick stems could rival. 

Thus far you have been favored with a glance 
into the diary of the newly inaugurated mistress 
of the house. 

It may be interesting to know upon what we 
Greco-Americans subsist for food. Our milk and 
butter come cheaply enough. They come across 
the channel from Asia, from the fine farms upon 
the slopes of the distant mountains. These farms 
are in sight. They are rich in fruit as well as in 
kine. We were told that we should find one treas- 
ure in our Greek home a goat. For awhile we 
tried our domestic sheep's and goats' milk. Bah ! 
There is nothing like the original cow. There 
lies before me, in the shape of a foot-long pine 
stick, our milk account ! It is marked with many 


notches. On it my wife has written " 56 oks." 
An ok is about two and a-half pounds, or in liquid 
about a quart. The month's account is on the 
stick. This is not an original plan of keeping ac- 
counts. It is aboriginal in many lands. It struck 
us as convenient and honest ; and when rendered, 
there was no need of calling in arbitration. The 
amount due at the end of the month was summed 
up in notches and piasters. 

The caiques, which whiten with their sails our 
lake-like sea, bring to our docks the finest melons 
of every variety. Among them is our nutmeg ; 
but the best is the cassova. Its color within is 
golden and its meat honey, with a dash of musk 
and spice. Grapes soon begin to adorn Our table. 
They are of various kinds ; but there is one peer- 
less kind. No fruit has ever been grown upon 
other parts of the earth equal to the fruit which 
September welcomes here, chief of which is the 
grape known as tchaouch uzum. While Europe 
and America may excel in pears, apples and plums, 
Asia has the most delicious fruit of royal clusters. 
The tchaouch is of pure gold and of plum-like size 
and rotundity. Its very pronunciation makes the 
mouth moisten. The hills around Tcham Lidja, 
where these grapes grow, are the Mecca of 
crowds of the lovers of this Bacchanalian fruit. 
Here the harem makes its visit, breakfasting on 
these grapes and bread. Sometimes this exquisite 


fruit is dried for winter use, but generally it is too 
rich to be spoiled in that way. Amber is not more 
beautiful in color. The cluster is very large and 
weighty. It seems bursting with a. fruity bloom 
and gives such aroma and flavor that the bees fol- 
low it into the very penetralia of our salle a man- 
ger. This luscious vintage inspires poetic fancies, 
even before it is trodden in the wine-press 

" Less fragrant scents the unfolding rose exhales." 

Peaches, plums, apricots and nectarines make up 
a picture for the table as well as a feast for the 
epicure. For meats, we have lamb and mutton, 
beef and chickens ; for vegetables, there are varie- 
ties not known to the cuisine of the West, among 
which is the damia, only not our bean, but more 
unctuous and toothsome than the marrow-fat pea. 
What could we wish for beside ? Fish ? Yes, the 
Propontis is the resting-place of the " fishy Bos- 
phorus," as it was called in ancient days. It is the 
home of the fish called the mullet, as well also of 
the turbot and the mackerel, and a dainty, shining, 
nameless little beauty, quite delicate even without 
sauce. These disportively abound. The fishing 
with hook and line is spoiled by the nets which one 
sees actively employed at all hours, and wherever the 
shelving, pebbly shores and eddies invite. Indeed, 
the isles are surrounded with fishers' nets. You 
may see their high poles standing in the bays, and 



a platform or lookout attached, where a fisherman 
watches for the schools late into the night. These 
nets are placed so as to catch the current, and as 
the water is clear it is easy for the experienced 
eye of the watchman to see when the fish enter the 
net. He then pulls the string and the finny fel- 
lows are entrapped. These platforms, or watch- 
towers, are seen on the upper Bosphorus as well 
as here. They are called "Talliens." This is a 
corruption of the word " Italians," as that race 
were the first fishermen here to use this peculiar 
tower of observation. 

We often fish in another mode, in company with 
these Zebedees. When the caique is sufficiently 
far out from shore, they throw out one end of the 
net, this end being buoyed up by a cork or gourd; 
and then, after the boat has described a circle, they 
throw quantities of stones into the water within 
it, stones which they always carry in the boat for 
this purpose. These startle the fish from their 
quiet depths, and drive them swimming hither and 
thither, and thus they are more than likely to be 
ensnared. Fish, like our milk, meats and vege- 
tables, are brought to our door, and are less costly 
than in America. 

From the fishermen of Judea the world has 
learned much. The Greek fishers who convey 
us about these isles are not picturesque, nor statu- 
esque, but they are Hellenic in many ways, and 



chiefly in their worship of the waters. As they sit 
on the sandy beaches carolling their weird songs 
and mending their nets, they bring to memory the 
apostolic employment. They are both classic 
and biblical. 

What boatmen, what fishermen, what male 
nereides these Greeks are ! How deftly they ply 
the oar ! how neatly they untie a string or fix a 
hook ! with what taste they arrange the fish when 
caught ! For example : " I go afishing " with old 
Nicholi on the east side of the island ; we catch 
about fifty of all kinds, including some rouget. 
These rougets are dainties fit for Lucullus. They 
are worth, in the parlance here, twenty-five piasters 
per ok. A piaster is nearly five cents and an ok 
between two and three pounds. In arranging them 
in the basket, Nicholi turns up their heads and lays 
out their tails, so as to make gold and silver radii. 
The big shiny fish are the centre, they form the 
hub. Then with a stick he strips the scales from 
the rouget. The rouget immediately blushes a 
rich crimson, at the indignity of this disrobing. 
Then he arranges the colors so as to make every 
other spoke in the radiant " mess " fiery with the 
red hue. Is this the result of that inborn love for 
the beautiful which is Grecian ? 

When the army of Xenophon on its famous re- 
treat reached these very waters, their inborn love 
of Neptune's element burst forth in shouts of joy 


-" Thalassa ! Thalassa ! "The sea ! The sea ! I 
get this not from Xenophon my gardener, but from 
old Anabasis himself, who reposes on the shelf of 
the library. 

The Greeks still love the sea. Not to speak of 
pirates who used to infest the archipelago, one 
need only look at the inimitable big sailing ships 
which plough toward the Euxine, after their own 
peculiar golden fleece, which is horned cattle and 
grain from Russia, to appreciate their spirit of 
marine adventure. With their isles and coast lines 
how could they do otherwise than love the water ? 

They had fountains which were sacred to their 
genii. Was not Arethusa the nymph who, when 
chased by her lover, turned into a fountain ? 
Diana changed her, chaste goddess that she was ! 
Water was ever sacred to her. It is the emblem 
of purity in the East. The rivers of the earth are 
the children of Oceanus and his sister, besides 
having three thousand oceanides little ones of 
the sea. Mauray must have descended from the 
Greeks of Maronia, to have discerned the thou- 
sand streams and currents in the bosom of the deep. 
When Peleus would dedicate a lock of Achilles' 
hair, he bore it to the river Sporcheios. Peleus 
was a relative of Neptune and the father of the 
irascible hero of Homer. The Pulians sacrificed a 
bull to Alpheios, which was a river of Peloponnesus. 
It had a knack of running under ground, very 


near the scenes of classic Olympus. It excited 
mystery and devotion. Spenser, in his " Faerie 
Queen," makes some rare stanzas about a congre- 
gation of the rivers of Britain. He copies the pict- 
ure from Themis, the goddess of law and justice 
the first personification of a virtue who summoned 
the streams of Greece to a great Olympian Legis- 
lature I suppose, for improvement and appropri- 
ations. Oceanus and the fountains were regarded 
as divinities. How much the people of a dry 
land like Greece must have appreciated streams ! 
Mr. Gladstone in his "Juventus Mundi," regarded 
this water worship of the Greek as coming from a 
different race; but Sir John Lubbock, who is bet- 
ter authority on this point than Gladstone, says 
that this water worship was only an earlier stage 
of the development of Grecian mythology. 

The question is likely to occur to the reader : 
" How do you get along with your household 
and neighbors as to language ? Do you speak 
ancient Greek, and will that answer for modern 
uses ?" 

Let me rise to a personal explanation. Mr. 
Speaker ! Ah ! Oh ! I beg pardon, Ladies and 
gentlemen : 

There are two kinds of language spoken by the 
modern Greek. One is called the Nooheknia. 
It is the regeneration of the ancient language, and 
is said to be the more classical and elegant of the 


two. It is called " regenerated" because it differs 
from the other Romaic. The regeneration of 
this language is supposed, in part, to be the elim- 
ination of all Turkish words and phrases. As a 
vehicle of thought it is growing rapidly ; but it is 
very unlike the ancient Greek, except in its printed 
form. It is more or less tinctured with the French 
in .its modes of expression. Hearing it spoken in 
the theatre at Constantinople, I have been struck 
with its vivacious turns of expression. That it 
is capable of great eloquence, tenderness and 
music I do not doubt. In the provinces where 
Greek is spoken it is said to be very difficult for 
the peasants to understand a Greek newspaper; 
while in Athens among the dlite, the most 
ordinary word familiar to the provinces is unintel- 
ligible. It is said by one who is conversant with 
these dialects that the younger Athenians of to- 
day would have greater difficulty in communi- 
cating with the Greek peasants or fishermen in 
Turkey, or even in Greece, than with foreigners 
possessing a superficial knowledge acquired in the 
mountain districts. 

Judging by certain plays which I have seen per- 
formed in the modern Greek language, I think 
the sense of pathos is more predominant in that 
language than humor, although there is a close 
alliance between the two. As one not unobserv- 
ant of humor, I may be allowed to say that the 


Greek has it, but not in the refinement, which is 
one of the last or highest reaches of civilization. 
The Greeks are not wanting in broad fun. There 
is much amusement in their ballads. They have 
a quickness or vivacity somewhat like the French 
or Irish, which is the spirit of witty retort ; but of 
that kind of humor or wit which sees the incon- 
gruity of things there is not much trace in their 
nature. This may be accounted for by the condi- 
tion of the people, living as they do in a state of 
insecurity, and their experiences tending toward 
the lugubrious. And yet, like the Irish, the Greeks, 
with all their disappointments and oppressions, are 
not wanting in a sense of that liveliness which is 
the source as well of poetry as of humor. Their 
every-day language bears the same relation to the 
written modern Greek language as the Saxon did 
to the Norman, or the Turkish to the Arabic. As 
for understanding the special Greek/tftoV of these 
isles, we do not dare to begin its study. A few 
words of daily use at the table or about the house 
are all that we need, as our own servants, 
Pedro, the Dalmatian Slav, and Marie, the Arme- 
nian maid, both speak the modern Greek in its 
simplicity, as well as the Turkish language. 

Who and what are our neighbors ? They live 
along the road and up the mountain side. They 
too are Greeks. All make courtesy to us. From 
the day we enter our green-grilled gate to the pres- 


ent writing, there is the uniform bow and salutation, 
" Kale mare ! " Good day ! or " Kale spero ! " Good 
evening ! It is pleasant to receive salutation from 
the children. It puts one's politeness to its best 
vigilance, as the children are plentiful. Our three 
nearest households have between them eighteen ! 
Had I come to Prinkipo when younger, say 
three decades ago, nothing but my sex could have 
stopped my maternal instincts. The isle is cele- 
brated in that respect. These little Greeks bear 
grand classic names. Let them be perpetuated. 
Some few have ecclesiastical names, but the classics 
are in the majority. If I had to canvass Prinkipo 
for Congress, I would first cultivate the classics, 
then orthodoxy. For every Michael there are two 
Herodotuses ; for every Antonio, two Lycurguses ; 
for every Nicholas, two Pisistratuses. The Marys 
are plentiful, but the Helens are more so. 
The equivocal reputation of Aspasia has not pre- 
vented many namesakes. Our femme de chambre 
is called Theano ! One of the fishermen is called 
Phaon, from that jolly mariner or ferryman of 
Lesbos, with whom Sappho fell in love before she 
fell into the sea. How sad ! Her love was unre- 
quited. Our gardener rejoices in the name Xeno- 
phon. He is neither historian nor philosopher, and 
he never heard of Socrates. In fact, he had never 
heard of his own great namesake. My wife said to 
him one day : " Did you ever hear of your an- 


cestor Xenophon, who was not only a handsome 
soldier but a great writer many hundred years 
before Christ ? " 

He smiles, ponders a little and .with a slight 
play of fancy, as if he thought the madame were 
humorous, says : " I know no such man ; but I 
know Xennie, who carries water to our garden." 
And this was the nickname for the pupil of Soc- 
rates, the historian, and soul of the Anabasis ! 
This is the pet name of the hero who twenty-three 
hundred years before, had visited Byzantium, after 
his famous retreat over rough lands for fifteen 
months, making 1155 parasangs. In one thing our 
gardener resembles his namesake. He has that 
simplicity of style which was the relief of my cal- 
low college days, and an integrity of character 
worthy of Socratic teaching. 

One does not enjoy his beef less because his 
butcher is called Pausanius, or his beans more 
because his gardener is called Xenophon. Nor do 
we enjoy our ice-cream, fruits, music, or the little 
courtesies of the isle the less, because they come 
to us upon the hills of Prinkipo tendered by An- 
astasia and Euphrosyne ; or depreciate our pur- 
chases because Demetrius and Theodosius stand 
sponsor for the wares which they peddle along 
the highways of the isle. Our cook is named Kat- 
arina. Is it a German name? No: it is Greek. 
She has been cook in the family from whom we 



rent for thirty years. They call her Amty, which 
is modern Greek, I suppose, for " Aunty." Thus 
our South is reproduced with its nomenclature. 
Of the children who play around our house in the 
alley above and in the valley below, you may read 
their names in the Odyssey or in Mitford ; or, call 
the roll of the Amphictyonic Congress, and they 
will not be absent, like so many of our American 
Solons, when their names are called. 

While musing upon the various names which 
are rich in classic and historic lore, I pick up a 
volume which is a part of my diversion occasion- 
ally. It is that of a literary tourist, travelling in 
the neighborhood of Athens. He is repeating, of 
course, some of Childe Harold's exclamations 
about " Fair Greece ! " sad relic of departed 
worth, immortal, though no more ! when he is 
tapped familiarly on the back by a so-called son 
of modern Athens, very likely a composite of Dal- 
matian, Saracen, German, French and Italian. 
This Athenian speaks to him in the vilest French. 
He points out, at the entrance of the harbor of 
the Piraeus, the tomb of Themistocles, saying: 
" Voila! the tomb of our greatest man!" The 
tourist thanks him, and asks him for his card. 

" I am," said he, Miltiades." 

The tourist starts back. 

" What ! " 

The stranger smiles a savage grin and says : 


" At your service." 

"Who are you?" I inquire. 

11 A laquais de place" he replies. 

" Is it possible ! the hero of Marathon so re- 
duced ! " 

Oh !" says he, " I knew them all." 

" Who all?" I ask. 

" Those poor gentlemen of Marathon." 

He confesses this tourist that his dream of 
Grecian beauty and greatness is over ; but that 
is the hard English way of looking at the world. 

The sports of children are typical of their lives. 
Even bankers' sons fly many-colored kites, and 
fly them skilfully, as their fathers do on the 
bourses of Europe. The little urchins in our 
vicinity are histrionically inclined inchoate Sopho- 
cleses and ^Eschyluses. They play house-keeping 
and horse, and occasionally have a Greek funeral, 
with priest, corpse and pall-bearers. They show 
their classic heredity, for they are running over 
with dramatic mimicry. 

The other day the children were much excited. 
They gathered on the hill side in front of our 
house, and began to clear away the pine needles 
and cones to make a smooth floor for a restaurant, 
or Diaskalon. Ropes were extended, upon which 
hung from the trees in colored papers the flags of 
the different nations. 


u What are they doing?" we inquire of our 

" Oh, Excellency, it is a fete day among the 

The children had caught the contagion. They 
are copying the caffantes on the mountains, 
whither to-day streams of pious Greeks are 

"Why this fete?" we ask. 

" Excellency, it is the beginning of the grape 

The people of the isle gather at the monastery 
and church of Christos, above, where the good 
Papa has baskets of the succulent vintage, in rich 
golden and purple clusters. These are blessed, 
and each person comes up to the altar and re- 
ceives one of the blessed bunches. 

Is this one of the Pagan rites which the ortho- 
dox Greek covers with a thin veneering of Chris- 
tianity ? If so, is it so very bad to be a little 
Paganistic ? Indeed, it savors of the " first good 
and first fair," and deserves to be celebrated ; as 
much so as our Thanksgiving, with its turkey roast 
and pumpkin rites. 

Between our point of view at the villa and the sea, 
there is nothing to interrupt the vision. We over- 
look the eastern end of the elder village by the 
shore. Immediately on the east is a Swiss valley. 
It is Swiss in its depth and picturesqueness. In 


its' hollow are a few cottages, and on its sides some 
villas. This vale is a mile long, and runs up 
to the middle depression of the island. It is 
covered by a vineyard, interspersed with fig-trees 
now bearing fruit; and rich in their large fresh 
green leaves. Olive trees here and there silver 
the scene, and mingle with the few stately 
cypresses, once marking tombs which are now lost 
in the cultivation and changes of the soil. 

Out of this valley there comes tripping a little 
fairy of the vineyard and fig-tree. She is singing 
a song whose evanescent music, with its quavers 
and turns, none but a Greek girl can master. 
Her mother is a donkey proprietress, and she 
allows her pet to salute our flag and its interterri- 
toriality with her favorite roundelay. 

This little one is my nearest neighbor. 
When I walk up through the groves and take my 
place, with a book, upon the circular stone seat 
under the umbrage of the pine trees, " midway up 
the mount," I hear her voice from the valley 
gradually nearing, until that voice becomes em- 
bodied, as she stands half panting with her race up 
the acclivity, yet trilling her " Pipini " roundelay ! 
I insert a translation and notation of this popular 
song and its melody ; * but the donkey queen will 
not allow me to transport to a New Atlantis her 
little Prinkipo princess. 

* See pages 66 and 67. 


It is very touching to see how, from lip to lip, 
simple verses like these will awaken a whole pop- 
ulation to the influences of music in its quick anfl 
vivacious expression. With the simplicity of a 
primeval ballad, the " Mother Goose " melody con- 
quers all tongues and hearts. 

Another of these peculiar melodies or poems re- 
minds me of the ballads which are sung in the 
nursery. I cannot translate it, for I do not under- 
stand the original. 

The burden of the song is about an old man 
who keeps a cock, which wakes the lonely old man. 
A fox comes by and wakes the cock which waked 
the lonely old man. Then a dog comes along; it 
killed the fox that ate the cock that crowed and 
waked the lonely old man. And so on, until the 
log falls down and kills the dog, and the furnace 
burns the log, and a river quenches the furnace, 
and an ox drinks up the river, and a wolf eats the 
ox, and a shepherd kills the wolf, and at last the 
plague carries off the shepherd who killed the wolf, 
that ate the ox, that drank up the river, that 
quenched the furnace, that burned the log, that 
killed the dog, that ate the fox, that ate the cock, 
that crowed and waked the lonely old man ! 
Something after this manner is not unfamiliar 
to the little ones of all lands. 

There is a folk lore among the Greek peasantry, 

which has its moralities, and this is assimilated in 



ct T6 native." 

The little bird that I loved, that I still adore- 
Little birdie, my darling ; 
For thee, birdie, I'm sighing. 

The little dear bird has fled and will return no more 
Come back, birdie, my darling, 
Oh ! where are you flying ? 

Oh ! cruel birdie ! Oh ! come back, before it is too late. 

Little birdie, my dear ; 

My prayer won't you hear? 
Return, my pretty bird, to me, seek not a better fate ; 

Come back, birdie, my dear, 

For thy fate I fear ! 

You have, birdie, my heart ; it has for long been thine, 
Birdie, my heart you carry: 
To come back, oh ! do not tarry. 

Return me, birdie, thine heart and come to nestle in 


Come back, birdie, come back, darling, 
For thee, birdie, I'm sighing. 

tc To 77flriw." 




.pr .. r ff F^*- ~ (* -. ~f ~<* > ~~n~'i* y \~f i* ^ P g 




many ways with that of the Orient. Of course it 
is more or less influenced by magic, and hence it is 
Persian, or Arabic. It has in it a whole circus of 
interjected horses, and bevies of maidens in wilder- 
nesses or in shipwrecks. It is full of wicked sub- 
ject matters, but everywhere it is replete with 
the marvellous. The myths of ancient Greece 
or the Sagas of Norseland are not more pene- 
trated with the supernatural than are the bal- 
lads and fables in the modern Greek language. 
Many of these fables and stories are the same 
which we hear repeated in our own tongue. They 
are, in other forms, the substance of Uncle Remus' 
stories of the fauna of our own woods ; and these 
stories have an Oriental flavor, which came to the 
original Guinea or Congo slave when the religion 
of Mahomet spread through the Dark Continent 
to these unhappy exiles of our ante-revolutionary 



How is the island watered ? For so fruitful a 
spot, it must have water. There is some dew, 
and that refreshes the vines, which are in great 
abundance. The vine does not seem to need 
showers, for in summer there are none worth not- 
ing. Wells of water are dug, and the Egyptian 
mode of pumping by ox, horse or man power is 
resorted to in the best places. On the east and 
west sides, where the isle is lowest and the 
gardens of melons and vegetables are many, the 
water is drawn by hand. We start with full cis- 
terns, but these do not hold out long, and we are 
soon obliged to join the numberless households 
around us who live by this locomotive irrigation. 
Twice a day the picturesque scene presents itself 
at our garden gate Antonius and his four pet 
donkey companions, with their surroundings and 
not unmusical voices. The gold-fishes must live 
.in the fountain and the flowers must flourish on 
the terraces. Ergo, the cistern and fountain must 
be supplied. And Xenophon, like his great name- 
sake, must work on a great scale, and so, with 



lavish hand he distributes to his cherished wards 
that which costs him nothing and which gives them 
beauty and fragrance. 

But where are the beautiful lawns of other 
lands ? Where the fresh green grass to cool the 
hot air and relieve the eye ? These are not. The 
grass will not grow at all on this island. Under 
the pine trees the needles are so thickly strewn 
that they pave the ground and make the walks 
quite slippery. The shrubbery is of a larger vari- 
ety than elsewhere. It reminds me of the fragrant 
machieoi Corsica, of which Napoleon said, that he 
<( could shut his eyes and smell it," when he was a 
prisoner in far off St. Helena. Nearly all of the 
islands are covered by this shrubbery, where the 
trees and rocks permit. It is a sort of heather. 
I see the women and men folk gathering it for 
"yarbes," as its roots are medicinal. 

There is a quasi grass grown here, perhaps quite 
as pretty as our grass. It is called Lepia. 
Whether this is the right spelling or not, I do not 
know. Whether it be derived from lepits, a hare, 
which feeds on it ; or lepas, a shell-fish ; or lepidics, 
pleasant it makes no difference, so long as 
it makes a pleasant lawn, whether for rabbit or 
barnacle. It is very petite and delicate, and of a 
pinkish white in color. Upon its tiny petals 
the bees and other honey-suckers buzz all day 
long. Butterflies of gorgeous hues and large size 



vie with the tiny humming-birds of purple tint 
which invade our garden. This quasi grass can 
be shaven, and then it makes a pleasant lawn, but 
in so doing the little fragrant flower must fall with 
the gardener's knife for awhile, until the new blos- 
soms come again. It forms a very attractive 
addition to the parterres of these island homes. 

Our villa is a miniature compared with the su- 
perb villas which line the lofty terraces by the sea- 
shore, and within whose enclosures the tamarind, 
magnolia and oleander flourish. The best houses 
are roofed with red tiles. They are gay with ve- 
randas and covered with creepers. They are either 
pink, white or yellow with fresh paint. Every- 
where embowered, they make pictures worthy of 
the Greek gardens of Antinous. 

It is neither pedantry nor exaggeration to com- 
pare these island villas to the classic garden of 
Homer's Alcinous in the Phseacian Isle (Corfu), 
where that "much experienced," wise old man, 
Ulysses, was harbored for a season. To be prosy, 
let me make an inventory of that famous epical 
garden : It has four acres , edged with green, and 
tall trees, cypresses, we suppose. There are red- 
dening apples, ripening to gold ; blue, luscious 
figs ; red pomegranates ; heavy pears, and perenni- 
ally verdant olives. Whenever one fruit drops, 
another takes its place. The seasons are so mild 
that blooms, buds and fruit appear together. The 


vines are ranked in order, some fit to pluck, some 
to make raisins, and some for wine. While some 
are in flower, others are in grape. Some are just 
coloring and some are purple with autumn. Beds 
of herbs are ever green. Fountains shake their 
silver in the sun. Streams abound as visitors to 
the roots of the plants, and pipes with water con- 
nect with palace and city. 

All this, and more, is here, with proper hydro- 
statics and irrigation, in the palatial gardens of 
Prinkipo. There are windmills, colored like Iris, 
perpetually pumping, with a grateful sea breeze as 
the motor. The breeze is a good worker and sel- 
dom " strikes," except for a few summer days. 
Attached to house, stable and office are mystic 
lines for telegraph and telephone, which deep. 
browed Homer never vouchsafed to his heroes or 
gods, with all their lording over lightning and 
thundering oratory from Olympus. 

There is one house here upon the island which 
has on the outside, what most mansions have 
within, viz. : exquisite colored tiles. This is very 
unique. Its doors, porticoes and windows are 
richly gilded and gracefully carved. It is but a 
cottage, but it ever excites comment and admira- 
tion, followed by the exclamation : "Why does an 
old bachelor keep so much of beauty to himself, 
instead of sharing it with a wife ? " 

Many years ago this isle was thickly peopled. 


The people disappeared and the isle became a 
waste, remaining thus until only a few short years 
ago. It was a mountain of pine trees in a land 
denuded of other vegetation. Like all such places, 
it had to have a pioneer. Out of his enterprise, 
within a half century, Prinkipo has become a 
second garden of Eden. His name will be per- 
petuated, for the first hotel of the island is named 
after him, though it is located back and above that 
of Signora Calypso, of the Homeric epic. Signer 
Giacomo started early here. He kept goats and 
loved America. He was a Maltese. That means 
that he was more or less of a mixed race. Doubt- 
less he was mostly Italian. He was a devout Cath- 
olic. He came to these waters of the East a little 
ragged, sailor imp. He was employed at a store 
in Galata. There is a Maltese street there yet, 
and through its fragrant purlieu I often ride, but 
seldom walk. I hurriedly go through this rueful 
rue, where Limburger cheese exchanges its odor 
with herring, and onions help assafcetida to dilate 
the nostril, ad unco naso. 

After Giacomo's successes at Galata, he came 
here and constructed houses around his own 
larger house, and upon terraced plateaux that rose 
in loveliness to the mountain top. He decorated 
his terraces with a profusion of his favorite white 
roses, whose fragrance was wafted far out at sea ; 
thus in some manner, as it were, compensating in 


his opulent days for the infragrance of his work in 
the time of youthful poverty. What forty years 
ago was " Giacomo's Delight " is now no more. 
It is gone ; but the Giacomo Hotel with its pretty 
terraces survives. It overlooks its rival, " The Ca- 
lypso : " so, when Greek meets Maltese there is 
a tug. Giacomo had a wife. She loved him and 
music passing well ; but the island or her talent 
did not furnish as much music as her husband did 
diamonds for her adornment. So she bought a 
barrel organ, and turned the handle. Handel 
would have turned in his tomb if he had heard it. 
The husband cultivated plants and statues. She 
looked after the barrel organ and ironing. When 
he came home and hung up his broad-brimmed 
hat over a plaster cast of Diana, she quit her laun- 
dry and took to Handel. He, Giacomo, had a 
gun. Quails filled his larder, and the gun seldom 
hung at rest near the statue of the divine hunt- 
ress. With due regard for the religious cultiva- 
tion of his own household and his neighbors' he 
caused a church to be built. He made a very 
happy speech in its honor on the opening of its 
doors to the Catholic community. It was the first 
Catholic church on this isle. 

As I pass the hotel bearing his name, I take off 
my hat. Why not ? Giacomo loved America. I 
wander over the terraces, among the umbrageous, 
gravelled walks so cleanly kept. I receive the 


greetings of mine host of " The Giacomo," who 
proves to be a brother of mine host of the " Hotel 
Royal," our winter home at Constantinople. He 
bears the Greek patronym of Logothetti or 
" word bearer." 

Everywhere upon these isles we are reminded 
of our classics, and of Homer especially. "Ca- 
lypso " carries us back not merely to our college 
days, but four thousand years. 

There has been much discussion between geog- 
raphers and other learned men, as to which one 
of the Grecian islands was inhabited by Calypso. 
Some have supposed the Island of Fano was the 
fateful isle. This has been denied strenuously, 
for it is admitted that there is nothing very attrac- 
tive about that rocky island. An American in 
passing by it, called it a " darned spot, only good 
for sharpening a slate pencil." Still the classic 
books generally regard Fano as the old Ogygia. 
The argument to prove that this unpronounceable 
and unmusical Greek island was that of the allur- 
ing Calypso, is its position. It lies between the 
south of Italy and Corfu, in the middle of the 
channel which leads into the Adriatic. Another 
argument, quite weak, however, is the fact that 
Ulysses took twenty-one days to get from Ogygia 
to Corfu. To know whether this was or was not 
good sailing, one should make inquiry as to the 
kind of vessel he sailed in, and the kind of weather 


he had. According to Homer, Ggygia, where 
resided the beautiful-haired goddess, was supposed 
to be \henombril of the sea, QojAoor^ just as 
Delphi was called by the Greeks the navel of the 
earth. Calypso, as we know, was the daughter of 
Oceanus ; and Oceanus was a river-god, and ac- 
cording to a correct knowledge of our rotund star, 
whose roundness Herodotus laughed at, the river 
was supposed to flow swiftly around the earth. 
One thing, however, is proven by a learned pun- 
dit, and that is that this island of Calypso occu- 
pied a prominent position between Cadiz and 
Troy. This is as much as to say that the town 
of Kalamazoo is situated somewhere between San 
Francisco and Boston. Pliny has something to 
say about this remarkable island. He asserts that 
it was not far from Cape Colonna, at the entrance 
of the Gulf of Tarento. There is nothing against 
this learned supposition, except that no such island 
can now be found on the charts. However, it is 
not unusual in the Mediterranean for an island 
to pop up in the day, and pop under over night. 
In fact, the island may be nothing but a myth ; 
but the myths of Homer, to one who lives upon a 
Grecian island, become so real that we forget they 
are mythological. Here, we regard his heroes, 
divinities and localities as real personages and 
solid facts. Especially are they so regarded when 


such a substantial and festive modern Greek tav- 
ern is called " The Calypso." 

The gardens around many of the more splendid 
edifices of Prinkipo extend down to the grotesque 
rocks on the shore, upon which hang, in quaint style, 
summer kiosks, or bath houses. Nearly all the ele- 
gant houses have in the corners of their grounds 
summer houses, where in the evening or after 
dinner the family gathers and visitors are wel- 
comed, and where tea and coffee are served. 

At the scala, or on the verandas, or in these 
kiosks, you may observe the consummate charms 
of this isle. Murray, in his hand-book, says of 
Prinkipo : " The air is mild and healthy, and the 
heat in summer by no means so oppressive as at 
Constantinople ; and the women are said to be the 
most beautiful in the world." 

This last sentence shall be the text of a chapter 
by itself, dedicated to the beauties of the isle. 




THE traveller to the Arctics notes the glory of 
the aurora borealis, the stupendous glaciers, the 
superb fiords, and sublime mountains ; but he 
notes also the absence of running water. With- 
out this element of beauty, no landscape, however 
grand, is perfect. Even in the upper Alps, where 
the tintinnabulation of the sheep-bells is faint, and 
the torrents give only a murmur from below, the 
eye tires of the frozen rigidity of all within its 
range. Here, on these isles, there is this draw- 
back ; yet running water is not missed so much, 
as nature supplies so many other beauties. No 
brooklet here sings between osiers and alders ; no 
mountain stream bounds between crags and over 
boulders, making motion and music. 

Along the mountain sides we perceive long 
lines and piles of broken stones. What are they ? 
The debris, or moraines, left by torrents of a past 
age ? Are these the relics of a once watery way, 
or are they the ground-rubble of a glacial age ? 

It was some time before my unscientific mindre- 



sponded to these queries. Pedro, whose very name 
signifies a rock, inclined me to the opinion that 
they were the once gathered yet now scattered re- 
mains of boundary walls, when Prinkipo was in 
the height of her refinement and culture. What 
have we to do with such puzzles here ? Have we 
not the magic climate, the narrow girth which 
confines the essential beauty, the atmospheric tints 
which color the mountain features, beautiful flow- 
ers in cultivated gardens, refreshing nooks under 
the umbrage of pine, olive, oak and fig, groves 
of endless variety, gray stones and moss-covered 
rocks, shrubbery whose fragrance sweetens the 
sense, and a shore whose indentations remind one 
of Prospero's isle, where the lover may load the 
air with sighs in the " odd' angle of the isle ? " All 
these we have ; but alas ! no running streams, no 
tinkling fountains with thin sheafs of prismatic 
silver, and no lakes and cascades to give the isle 
more melody. But we have sea water of the love- 
liest tint the celestial hue of blue. Should not 
that of itself suffice ? 

The ancient Greeks made much out of their 
restricted water privileges. 

What classic, historic and poetic splendors sur- 
round the rivulets of Cephissus and Ilissus ! 
They were monstered into wonders. They had 
nymphs and naiads innumerable. The Missouris 
and Danubes, Amazons and Rio Grandes are as 


nothing comparable to the Scamander of Troy. 
What will not genius expand and fancy glorify ! 
If the aqueous sterility of Greece conduced to its 
greatness, what will be said of the aggrandizement 
of America, with its Ohio, Hudson and Mississippi, 
its lakes and its gulfs, its Atlantic and Pacific ? 

The voices of the isle are numerous. In such a 
secluded spot, even the hum of a bee is noticed. 
When the north-west wind comes to make its 
streaks of shadow and its dimples of beauty on the 
sea, the sighing thereof is soft-noted ; and when 
evening comes, and the sun with a ruddy, violet 
haze makes charming silhouettes out of the nine 
isles of the archipelago, the wind begins to play 
on its piney keys, with an autumnal solemn sound, 
like that of a rich-toned organ. In its pauses you 
sometimes hear the sonorous tremolo of the train 
across the channel in Asia, as it rumbles along the 
railroad between Hadji-Ali and Ismid, and sweeps 
the chords of another age and civilization. In the 
evening, as we pass the venerable church of Chris- 
tos, we hear the chants of the parish Emphemerios. 
They sound as if half hushed within a sepulchre, 
like the service for the dead, with its piteous Kyrie 
Eleison ; Christ^ Bodtheson. Breaking in on the 
solemnity comes the pertinacious, shrill, rasping 
monotone of the cicada. This insect is as old as 
Homer. He likens it to a piping old man whose 
voice is thinned by age. He describes it as be- 


longing to a bloodless race, which in summer days 
" rejoice with feeble voice." 

This insect, from the midst of the isle, and by 
the sounding shore, sends up its scrannel piping 
through the pines of the Diaskalon to arouse the 
monks of Christos for their matins. The very 
roosters of old Asia, across the channel, respond 
in greetings to the god of day and the isles of the 
sea. These cocks act as if they were the chartered 
libertines of the East, because nearest the auroral 
gate. Thus nature salutes the sacred sun, as 
through Heaven's portals he blazes to give the 
cheering ray and golden day. This sentiment is 
Homeric ; but the chanticleer has become a sign 
and clarion of patriotism ; for his voice arouses 
our Dalmatian serviteur, who prepares to raise our 
flag upon its staff to continue the salute. Along 
with the domestic flap of our neighbors' fowls, I 
can hear from my open window the patriotic flap 
of our bunting, as I sink off again in dreams of 

This grasshopper, alias locust, alias katydid, 
or alias cicada, is a sign of dry weather. In these 
Greek isles, as in Cyprus, Necessity has taxed her 
maternal solicitude to find some mode for its de- 
struction. It spoils the crops. I do not know 
that it is so destructive on these as on other isl- 
ands, but it is very numerous, and it must live 
on something green. Hence, there is much con- 


cern about the cicada. Judging by the sound, it 
is as dry as a militia regiment on a muster day. 
Some one is it Tennyson ? generalizes by say- 
ing : 

" At eve, a dry cicala sung." 

Cicala is Italian for katydid, grasshopper or 
cicada. The latter is the scientific term. Cicala 
philologically indicates that the bird wants a drink. 
You can never see the insect ; it is as green as the 
tree on which it chirps. Chirp ? Yes ; for it does 
not sing. Its hemipterous membranous transpar- 
ency is in a scrape on the under side of itself, and 
grates out by friction a shrill monotone, which on 
this island is only equalled in its annoyance by the 
unmelodious bray of the festive jackass. Its fals- 
etto is relieved by snatches of sprightly Greek 
songs, trilled in girlish glee by shoeless little Cal- 
liopes, which rise in treblous hilarity from the cot- 
tages of the valley below. 

At dawn we are awakened by three peculiar 
sounds. One is the " strain of strutting chanti- 
cleer." This is Shakespeare's expression in the 
" Tempest " ; so that the herald of the dawn be- 
longed to other enchanted isles. It is literally a 
strain which means an effort ; for the firstlings of 
the chicken tribe try their tiny throats with a 
feeble agony which soon arouses the ire and ambi- 
tion of the elder cocks. These make the isle ring 


from, side to side with their clarion voices ; and St. 
George's Mount takes up the shrill crow, which 
St. Nicholas echoes. Dreams here ? Dreams in 
the early morning ? Mayhap ; but not rosy. 

Another noise begins. At first it is an equiv- 
ocal sort of bruit. Is it the distant thunder from 
Olympus ? Is it the rolling of the Ismid train 
again ? It starts afar. It approaches ! It is no ! 
yes ! it is the jackass Diapason ! " It frights the 
isle from its propriety." 

Be it known that nearly all the locomotion of 
these isles is done by these meek children of 
misery. I am prepared to defend them for their 
patience, industry and docility. I am ready to die 
believing in their good sense, despite the libels 
upon their long ears, as significant of obtuseness. 
I have been familiar with them at home and abroad 
in and out of Congress. They are not insensi- 
ble to kindnesses. They are not donkeys in the 
sense of dulness. I am in sympathy with Cole- 
ridge's elegy to the ass's colt. In monumental 
Egypt ; around thy walls, O Jerusalem ; and over 
the mountains of these princely isles, I have be- 
come their confidant and familiar. When Athana- 
sius, our donkey driver, long may he be immor- 
tal ! brings from below his white jackass arrayed 
in gold cloth, with blue beads on its noble fore- 
head and around its milky neck to keep off the 
evil eye I know that I have a safe companion 

8 4 


for the pleasant paths of the pine woods. But 
there is something too much of this animal on the 
isle, if one would seek quiet rest in the morning. 
When donkey parties meet on the roads, there is 
much recognition and confusion. I demand of 
Athan'asius the reason of this sonorous braying. 
He responds : 

" You ought, Excellency, to hear them in the 
month of May, when Jack salutes his Jenny, a 
mile or more distant, and when the general jubilee 
of affection begins its vociferate attentions ; " or 
words to that effect. 

After all, it is their affectionate nature that must 
speak out in these inharmonious numbers. It is 
said that in the isle of Crete, whence Homer im- 
ported Stentor for his epic, the shepherds, owing 
to the pure air, can be heard calling to their flocks 
three miles and more distant. The undulations 
of the air here furnish the same facility for sound. 
The isle, by conformation, is a vast microphone. 
Nothing is lost in the limbo of silence. 

When Monsieur Chanticleer has quit his strut- 
ting and crowing ; when Madame Poulet has 
finished clucking her morning "lay;" when the 
wind is quiescent and the star-spangled flag hangs 
limp by its staff, and the cries of the bread and 
vegetable mongers are stilled then, as if by some 
infernal pre-concert this ear-benumbing noise of 
the amorous and jocund jackass begins again. It 


starts with an exaggerated case of. asthma. 
This rasps the soul. It is as if the beast would 
lose and then catch his bated breath, with a harsh, 
squeaky sibilation until a roar, as of forty hun- 
gry lions of the desert, comes to its infinite relief. 
It would seem as if all the powers of wheezy, 
whistling, gasping suction were exhausted. And 
so it is ; but then follow the terrific expirations of 
the bellowing monster ! This process of suction 
and emission is repeated with ''damnable itera- 
tion," until it dies out in an agony unutterable 
long drawn out. I can recall in adolescent asso- 
ciation with the paternal saw-mill, agonizing creak- 
ings of ungreased timber-wheels, and the filing of 
saws on a frosty morning. I have had recent expe- 
rience of the screaming shadoof, turned by blind 
buffaloes, pumping the Nile upon the fruitful land. 
In time I became accustomed to these chromatic 
eccentricities ; but no one, not even the inhab- 
itants of these isles, can ever become tolerant 
of this braying. When the Equus Prinkipo 
begins, as he does by lifting the upper lip 
and showing his white teeth, the driver takes pre- 
cautions against too prolonged an agony. He 
makes a wild and desperate rush for Asinus. He 
beats and kicks him. He jerks his head up, down 
and awry. But still undaunted, the animal roars 
again and again ; and his congeners from the town 
below on the shore, yea, even afar off to the Dias- 


kalon on the summit, take up the horrid refrain, until 
one would think Enceladus had walked out of the 
sunless chambers of the earth to bellow upon the 
affrighted air. Oh ! that these donkeys were 
like the lion indeed, not of natural history, but of 
the species Bottom would have played in such an 
" aggravating voice " that he would roar you as 
gently as any sucking dove, or any nightingale. 
Certainly, Shakespeare, who was fond of locating 
his midsummer fancies upon enchanted isles, must 
have heard of these donkeys of Prinkipo, when 
he said : " The isle is full of noises." 

I am not prepared to join in the general objur- 
gation against this animal. He has excellent 
qualities. It is the duty of just criticism to dis- 
criminate and not judge too harshly. It is said of 
the mule that he is the meanest of brutes. I 
would not be unjust to him even. I admit that he 
has plenty of total depravity in his hind legs. I 
further admit that he is more obstinate than his 
step-brother ; but has he not the same evangelical 
expression of countenance ? As the mule is only 
half an ass, dispraise of him must be discounted at 
the beginning fifty per cent. I assert boldly that 
there are good mules as well as good donkeys. It 
is a great mistake to suppose that the obstinacy 
which belongs to both animals is a vice. On the 
contrary, it is a virtue. Does not this quality of 
nature give strength of character and courage ? 


Much has been said and written of the pride of 
birth. Much wit has been expended in relation 
to that pride. But it has never been applied ex- 
cept in derision of the donkey. This is unjust. 
Humble though his present station may be, he is 
of an ancient family. Royalty is shown in the 
thistle of his escutcheon. He has much more 
reason to be proud than the mule. He has no 
bar sinister on his shield. It may not be generally 
known that the mule has an arrogant and offens- 
ive pride, which amounts to vanity. The pride of 
the mule is in some respects justifiable. It is in- 
herited. It comes from his maternal connections. 
Perhaps it is because of this that the mule joins in 
the general objurgation against his father, the don- 
key. If an ass is thrown with a pack of mules, he 
is sure to be badly treated, kicked and curled like 
a poor relatiori ; while the horse is treated with 
the most distinguished consideration. The mule 
is always anxious to be near his equine relative. 
Those who are accustomed to these animals will 
verify this remarkable statement. Yet with all his 
faults the mule is a true patriot ; he served gal- 
lantly in the late war, and has not applied for a 
pension ! He took rank in the quartermaster's de- 
partment and became a " brevet horse." 

The ass is by no means a stupid beast ; he is 
contemplative. He belongs to the tropical cli- 
mate. The horse belongs to the colder latitude 


and supplies almost its every emergency. The 
ass is Oriental. His progenitor is from Central 
Asia. He has long served as a domestic in its 
regions. From there he went down into Egypt. 
He is the offspring of a splendid civilization. The 
Bible, which is a Semitic book, has niany references 
to him, both in the satire in relation to Baalam, and 
in the beautiful entry into Jerusalem. The ass has 
been exalted by the Arab. He came in with the 
Caliphs. He shared their honors. My recollection 
is precise that when I was asked to ride to the Pyr- 
amids, or to make a tour around ancient Thebes, 
the admiring and eloquent donkey contractor never 
failed to dignify the animal with such names as 
" Washington," " Grant," and "Yankee Doodle." 

The donkey of Egypt is quite an improvement 
on all other donkeys that I have observed in the 
Eastern world. His breeding is of high antiquity. 
Great attention is paid to his pedigree : as much 
as to that of the horse. In that warm climate 
there are donkey barbers, who clip his hair in 
order to prevent him from suffering from the 
heat. When kept for private use this quadru- 
ped is sometimes dressed in splendid housings, 
rich and gaudy, having on a high pad or sad- 
dle upon which one may even lie down in com- 
fort. This aristocrat is by no means a sample, 
however, of the ordinary animal, even in Egypt, 
much less of those we find in Prinkipo. 

f I 



8 9 

I am inclined to tell a story at the risk of in- 
credulity. When in Egypt, in the winter of 1886, 
the donkey I rode, which was named Sardanap- 
alus, because he fared so sumptuously, became 
overweary in our long ride to the temple of Abydos, 
on the border of the desert. He was taken into 
the cool chambers and hitched amidst its cyclopian 
pillars. Under the very eye of a painted Rameses, 
he hung up his head by his upper teeth to a ledge 
of the structure, and thus rested. I thought at 
first he was fascinated by the double-crowned 
king of Egypt, who peered down at him with 
almond eyes ; but no ! it was a little contrivance 
of his own to hold up his heavy head. 

I once served on a Committee on Foreign 
Affairs in the House of Representatives with a 
member from Nevada. He has since been Minis- 
ter to the Sandwich Islands. In the absence of 
better business before the Committee, he on one 
occasion entertained that body with a description 
of a contest between a grizzly bear and a jackass. 
The idea that the grizzly had failed in the contest 
gave great satisfaction to the Foreign Affairs 
Committee. It has been my constant delight 
since that time to review the terrific contest as 
depicted by the then member from the Sierras. 
If he did not exaggerate, as doubtless he did not, 
there never was in the history of animated nature 
a beast with such belligerent propensities. They 

9 o 


reached even to his extremities. How he de- 
feated the grizzly bear ; how he won the hearts 
of the Nevada people ; how he pursued his enemy 
until the last element and microbe of its being 
was annihilated, can only be told by the ex-editor 
of the Nevada Enterprise, whose "lecture" on 
that subject deserves to be filed with his diplo- 
matic correspondence with King Kalakaua ! 

My memory of his description of this fighting 
animal, recalled in the land of the Homeric Greek, 
makes me tolerant of its vociferation in the early 
morning. I have been told that after this victory, 
Nevada seriously contemplated giving a place to 
the donkey in her armorial bearings ; and that it 
was only prevented by a chivalrous spirit of inter- 
State comity which would avoid offence to Califor- 
nia's grizzly shield. 

Every defence of this patient animal, by per- 
sons in or out of authority, has been welcome. 
When questions are asked by his representative 
in Congress, when the heads of departments send 
in their reports, when a constituent writes for 
the agricultural report which frequently contains 
his portrait, when a newspaper makes inordinate 
or irrational humor, well, I feel like defending 
the donkey against the attacks which the incon- 
siderate may make. ^Esop, in his fables, and the 
world, with its satire, have made light of his ra- 
tional attributes. He is yet to be thoroughly vin- 


4 I 



dicated. A French poet once said : " A force de 
malheurs Vane est inter essant" Some of our 
comic papers in New York have shown that the 
ass is conspicuously an ass when he does not know 
it. Oftentimes an irrational person may call a 
man an ass. He does not intend to, but gener- 
ally he wrongs the animal. 

I like the theology of India. It reverences all 
animals. The souls of men even inspired and 
often ventured within the precincts and anatomy 
of the animal after death. 

I am proud to confirm the statement of the 
member of Congress from Nevada, that the ass is 
a warrior. On the authority of Voltaire, I may 
allege that Mirvan, the twenty-first Caliph, was 
called " The Ass" for his valor. Homer compared 
the coward Paris to a horse ;,but when he sought 
for a heroic synonym to glorify Ajax, he likened 
him to an ass. 

Greece and Rome were careful to produce the 
best breed of these animals. They were more 
precious than slaves in the market. Our own 
Bible has many allusions to this animal. It 
makes him sacred. The wild ass of Job may not 
have the equine thunder in his neck ; he may not 
snuff the battle from afar ; but he is, nevertheless, 
good at a fight when it is near. He is a magnifi- 
cent figure in Biblical history. We know his 
relation with the life of the Holy Family. 


Any one who has seen the Arab, or the donkey, 
whether in Egypt, in Syria, or in these isles, 
will understand that the family is not less holy 
by the presence of this animal. 

Why is it that the ass's head never figured 
among the gargoyles and other strange carviogs 
in the architecture of the Middle Ages? There 
must have been a prejudice at that time against all 
sedate and reverent objects. Coming down to a 
later time, it is not unusual to see the ass led in 
grand procession in the solemn ceremonies of the 
Church. Chants were sung in his honor. Even 
imitations of his braying, certainly more musical 
than those of Prinkipo, were heard in the re- 
sponses of the assistants who took up the melodi- 
ous noises and gave harmony to the mediaeval 

What though this animal have the power by its 
voice to arouse us in the early morning ; why 
should we be sluggard, when the virtues of pa- 
tience and humility, which are typified in his life 
and manners, are given for our instruction ? Let 
us not be iconoclasts. Let us believe in the dig- 
nity of the ass. Let him be rewarded, not as a 
degenerate horse and the subject of universal rid- 
icule, but as an illustrious object of all the ages, 
having the qualities of antiquity and goodness, 
faithful among the faithless, and by no means to 
be disregarded because of his capacity of hearing. 


It cannot be denied that the ass does sometimes 
allow us inhabitants of Prinkipo a respite from his 
music. It is at eventide. When the day begins, 
the donkeys are at their useful work, as carriers of 
water, provender, materials, furniture and persons. 
When the evening comes with its soothing light 
on the hill sides and amidst the pine shades , when 
families begin to pack up their rugs and dishes, 
preparing for a descent from the picnic grounds ; 
when lovers begin softly to steal away and coo 
amidst the rocks ; when the flecked and shaggy 
trunks and limbs of the old pines begin to cast their 
long shadows over the sinuosities of the paths 
oh ! then comes the quietude beyond all other 
spots of earth. Then each person may wander 
at will over the cliffs and under the silent groves, 
utterly isolate with the summer sea that makes 
no murmur against the placid shore. 

I have the same fondness for birds in which 
George Sand delighted. They are almost as 
indispensable in a landscape as trees or running 
waters. When we first came to Prinkipo, in the 
late spring, there was at daybreak, in the olive 
trees of our neighbor, a bird which I persisted in 
recognizing as a nightingale. Such " liquid sweet- 
ness long drawn out," must have belonged to the 
bulbul. He made love to our roses like a true 
Oriental. He made love to a whole garden or 
harem of roses the profligate ! However, he 


departed as mysteriously as he came. The little 
brown rossingnol, which our " Amty," the cook, 
kept caged under the catalpa tree in the back 
court, refused to sing any more responses. Her 
heart was off in the further East, where the seven 
rivers of Damascus are accordant and these birds 
sing the summer-time away. 

Then we have swallows, who make their dudish 
toilets early in the summer. They cleave the clear 
air of the mountain sides, dart out of the vine- 
yards, and flit amidst the pine trees, never 
seeming to alight. They are quite tame and 
fearless. One morning while sauntering up the 
mountain I notice that two of these birds are 
following me. When I stop they hover about my 
head ; sometimes within arm's length. I marvel. 
What does it mean ? Am I near a nest ? Are 
these the mother and father of a brood, as to 
whose safety the parents are apprehensive ? I 
move on. Still they follow, darting far down into 
the valley, then sweeping on their electric wing 
to the very crown of the mountain and about 
the crown of my hat. I reason that they have 
been domesticated at the hearthstone or in the 
chimney, and so I solve the problem. A month 
or so ago, one morning, a cloud of blackbirds, 
our own cornfield larcener, took possession of the 
woods of the isle. They are known here as petty 


crows, and do much damage. They soon left for 
better foraging. 

This isle is distinguished for quail. They 
come about the first of September in great flocks. 
Already some of the pioneers have heralded 
their approach. From the hills opposite our 
villa shots are heard in the morning. When 
the season is full it is dangerous to be about the 
woods, the shots are so numerous. These 
birds are migrating from the grain plateaus 
of Russia to the balmier fields of Egypt. Their 
resort here reminds me of the wild pigeons in 
the West in Ohio, in my old district in Licking 
County, where for years they were wont to come 
and roost as regularly as the seasons came. They 
made the air black. They covered trees and fences 
with their multitudes. The quail here are not so 
numerous ; but they fill the shrubbery. Some of 
the rich folk of the isle are buying up preserves 
to limit their destruction. After a few weeks' rest, 
during which they are massacred by the thousands, 
even by boys with sticks, the survivors take 
flight over the sea to San Stefano, or the shores of 
the Hellespont, en route for " winter sunbeams." 
Their flight and multitude raise a question about the 
quails of the wilderness, when Israel was hungry. 




ALTHOUGH, as I have said, the mass of the popu- 
lation and visitors upon these isles are Greeks, 
yet there are many sojourners belonging to other 
nationalities. These are French, Italian, English, 
German, Russian, Greek and Armenian. It is 
not infrequently that we hear a veritable Pente- 
cost. In these polyglotical accomplishments the 
Levantines are pre-eminent. They are the de- 
scendants somewhat mixed of all the commer- 
cial and adventurous people who have sought the 
Orient and its capital for occupation and emolu- 
ment. Many wear the fez ; these are the subjects 
of the Porte. As we take our excursions by car- 
riage and donkey, horse and foot, over these 
mountains and through these valleys, we often 
meet, ascending the hill in a palanquin, some aris- 
tocratic lady. She is loath to quit the old custom, 
one by no means inconvenient or abandoned in 
Constantinople. We meet families and groups of 
these Levantine people. Most of them of both 
sexes dress like Europeans. Until they speak, 


it is difficult to tell one race from the other. 
Even then, as most of them speak Italian, French 
and Greek, it is difficult. The Greek predomi- 
nates even above the Levantine. The Italian is 
next. The French tongue is used mostly among 
the wealthy and official classes. The Levantine 
inherits from his ancestor facile organs of speech. 
So easy are these organs that it is no trouble to 
form, in a mechanical way, by the chorda vocales, 
with tongue, mouth and lips, the various sounds 
and the words of the various dialects of the " seven- 
ty-two nations," of which Constantinople boasts. 
Whether this be one of the evidences of heredity, 
certainly it is remarkable how open-mouthed and 
comfortable these people are, who for generations 
have talked a dozen languages, and can roll the 
words, spread the syllables and intone the sentences 
of these different tongues. I know of children 
who, while accomplished in French, English, Greek 
and Turkish, revel in Russian and grapple with 
German, as with their playthings. 

My first tonsorial experience is in a barber 
shop of the old town of Prinkipo. Most of the 
barbers are polyglotically inclined. My particular 
barber is either a Greek, a Maltese, a Sclav, a 
Bulgarian, or a Montenegrin. It is impossible at 
first to tell his native tongue. He has French 
glibly. He speaks a " leetle Inglis" and under- 
stands less. He is well up in Italian, as many of 


9 8 


the families in this vicinage are. He has some 
knowledge of Spanish as kindred to the Italian. 
This extraordinary learning always gives me a 
shudder, and especially when under his razor or 
shears. Being a stranger on the island, and hav- 
ing no very pronounced national features, it was 
equally difficult for him to ascertain my national- 
ity, except by inquisition long and pitiless. All 
I could do was to arm myself with the affirmatives 
and negatives of various languages. With these, 
I made myself complaisant, to save my face from 
bloodshed. My first conversation with this artist 
confirmed the general reputation as to the gossipy 
quality of the Barber of Seville. He had all the 
gossip of the isles, including its languages. The 
conversation ran somewhat after this style : 

BARBER : " You have been here long ? " 

I reply in Bohemian, " Ne / " 

He easily understood that. 

" You are here for your health ?" 

I reply in Danish, affirmatively and negatively, 
"Ja ! " "Nei, minherre ! " " Yes, sir," and " No, 
sir." This puzzled him. 

" An army gentleman, perhaps ? " 

I reply in German, " Nein, mein herr" 

" O, then you are a navy officer?" 

Having in view my position as Admiral of the 
launch, I reply in Hungarian ; because, lucus a non 


lucendo, Hungary is an inland country and like our 
own, without a navy, 

"Igen! "^Yes." 

" Your vessel is at Constantinople?" 

Remembering that there was an Italian emi- 
grant named Christopher Columbus of naval re- 
nown, I reply: "Si, signore" 

" You will bring your vessel to Prinkipo ?" 

Ah ! here was my opportunity. It is the mod- 
ern Greek in which I reply : " Nae vevayos" 

He is thunderstruck. It is evidently his mother 
tongue. Likely he has a Polish father; who 
knows ? When he asks me in French : 

" Will your vessel touch at Athens ?" 

I respond in Polish, " Takf" No. 

And then, with some hesitation, I add the 
French word " Petttre" Perhaps. 

-You will visit Egypt?" 

" Sim, senhor" This is Portuguese for " Yes, sir." 

The gesture or the manner with which these re- 
sponses are made encourages him ; for he immedi- 
ately asks whether I have ever been in Albania. 
I have no negative or affirmative in any of the 
languages of the Adriatic. My Dalmatian servi- 
tor, Pedro, is absent and my next best affirmative 
is in Russian. 

"Do prawda" Perhaps, being affiliated with 
the Sclav, he understands this language. 

" You have never been in Egypt ? " 


As the pine and the palm are associated in my 
mind, and having connected the Polar Midnight 
Sun with the Pyramids of the Pharaohs, I respond 
in Swedish, making it intense, 

"Ja ! " Adding a little affirmative in Roumanian 
to give intensity to the remark, " Gze." 

After a pause in the conversation he resumes. 
He believes that he has my nationality fixed. He 
surmises that I am from some Balkan province, 
and he asks : 

" Have you been in Roumelia, Bulgaria, 
Servia, Montenegro and Herzegovina?" 

Knowing that I could not answer this truthfully, 
and not being able to answer it partially, I give 
him back in Roumanian an emphatic negative : 

" Na canna, bucca" 

11 You have been quite a traveller ! " 

This suggests the Chinese as the fitting Ian* 
guage for the affirmative, and I say : 

" She ! " 

Having no reference to Haggard's novel ; for it 
was not then out. To make the "she" expres- 
sive, I add another affirmative which I had care- 
fully studied while boarding with the Chirrese 
Legation in Washington. 

" Tajin!" 

" You like the Chinese, monsieur?" 

Having succeeded so well with the Chinese, I 
answer promptly in the negative : 


This monosyllable disgusts him. His subordi- 
nates gather around the chair where I was being 
shaved, interested in this composite conversation. 
The artist then asks if I had visited Jerusalem. 
Here was my great break-down. Notwithstanding 
I had represented a Hebrew community in New 
York, with more synagogues than Jerusalem had 
in the time of Solomon, I was at a loss for a 
Hebrew affirmative. Happy thought ! I re- 
spond promptly in the Arabic tongue, with its 
guttural peculiarity : 
9 "Na'am" 

It sounded to me after I uttered it like profan- 
ity, and I fell back as gracefully as I could, waiting 
for the next attack, and equipped with a Japanese 

''You like Constantinople ?" 

I respond in a sweet Japanese accent : 

" Sama, san / " 

" How long have you been in Constantinople ?" 

I give it to him in English. 

" I arrived there in the year 1851 thirty-six 
years ago." 

" Mon Dieu !mon Dieu ! mon Dieu / " he ex- 

"Have you lived there ever since that time?" 

" Beaucoup, monsieur ! " 

He has not yet learned my nationality. I am 


afraid every moment that he will strike America. 
It comes : 

" Perhaps you have been in America ? " 

" Wa'al, yaas, I guess ! " 

He could not understand this, for he had not 
been educated at Robert College, nor had he 
abided in Vermont. 

I ask him in French which America he means. 
He says : 

" South America. I have a cousin of my wife's 
there, and I would like to know how the country 

" Le nom du cousin de votre femme f " I ask. 

" Pierre Moulka Pari Michipopouli. He is 
like you, monsieur, quite a traveller." 

Then began a fusillade of questions and rattling 

" You have lived in Paris, monsieur ? " 

"Jamais ! " Never. " Been to Genoa ? " " Si, 
signore" " Ah, you are English, are you not?" 
With the intense Turkish negative I respond : 
"Yok!" "French?" "Won." "German?" 
"Nem." "Sclav?" "Nee/" "Italian?" "No, 
signore" " Ah ! Espagnol ? You look like one." 
"Pardon, monsieur, I am not." " Well," said he, 
taking breath, " will you tell me, monsieur, 
where you do come from ? " 

" Don't you remember the only nation in the 


world where the barber is as good as a king ? " I 
said proudly. 

" Oh, Switzerland. Sapristi! Corpo de Bacco !" 

Understanding that last remark perfectly, I offer 
him a cigarette and say : " No, I am not Swiss." 

"Brazeel?" "Jamats" 

The way that barber rubs the unguent into my 
hairless scalp and hirsute beard shows that he is a 
disappointed man. 

The next time I visit the shop I receive 
marked attention. The hands all rise up. They 
pick up the earth, in a Turkish salaam. They 
distribute it in courtesy to the American Minis- 
ter, whom they had meanwhile discovered. As I 
had been frequently turned away from the doors 
of our American Congress after twenty-five years' 
service, because I did not act or look like a mem- 
ber, so I was unrecognized here, by the " Oi 
Barber oi? as having no national characterization. 
America was the last race or people to which 
this Greek barber assigned me. 

Let me illustrate further. My wife and my- 
self start out in a carriage for a turn about the 
isle. We drive over the Christos road toward 
what is called " The Saddle." There the vale 
spreads into gardens, and leads, on either side, 
by gentle depressions, to the sea. Here 
are two caffane'es or diaskalons. Upon ter- 
races, and under the shade of the pines, are sev- 



eral hundred tables, with seats all temptingly ar- 
ranged. At various angles the blue sea is visible. 
Here you may call for coffee, lemonade, wine or 
milk. From the peddler, dressed in his spotless 
robes, you may buy an ice , for he has a small 
confectionery shop on his back, with dainty spoons 
and dishes. Or you may do more : buy the toy 
dishes, as Madame does, to carry home as souvenirs. 
Our carriage has stopped on a terrace where there 
is a picturesque family group of a dozen or more. 
They are sitting or reclining on their mats or car 
pets. The outer wrappings of the females are 
hanging from the trees near by. They are having 
a day's outing. A faithful white hound, at the foot 
of the tree, keeps watch over the clothing. The 
grown daughters are off climbing the neighboring 
peak of St. George. We hear their laughter and 
fun far up the mountain. The men are smoking 
about in utter ease, while grandmother, mother, 
servant and children roam about the woods. That 
which attracts us most is the odd costume of the 
children. It is made up of very gay-colored stuffs, 
red, white and blue stripes alternating. It recalls 
our own national emblem. Madame is en- 
chanted, and calls one of the children to her for 
examination. As the child cannot talk French 
or English, only Turkish, Russian and Greek, her 
petite teacher, dressed in the same ruddy trainless 
garb, comes up courteously. She adds French to 


her accomplishments. Her name is Minerva 
Kypriades. She is a Greek, twenty years of age, 
and looks sixteen ! Her eyes are as black as her 
raven hair. She is now on a vacation. She 
ter~hes school in Odessa. She will not, however, 
be called Russian, much less Turkish, although 
born in Constantinople. She is Minerva 
helmet, spear and all, without the Gorgon 
shield. She explains her costume as Russian, 
a dress not for the city, but for the 
camfiagna - - and of the country of Mordovski. 
It consists of a dark blue cotton skirt, with a 
wide red border, heavily embroidered in gay 
colors, red predominating, inserted above a very 
deep hem. The waist is of blue cotton, with 
the same style of gay collar as the trimming 
or border of the skirt. Her flowing sleeves are of 
alternate bands of red, white and blue, edged with 
the lace of the country. A very large square 
tablier, or apron, falls to the edge of the skirt. 
This completes the attractive picture. I must not 
forget the red silk scarf. It partly confines her 
heavy black tresses. The same fabric is worn by 
all the children. The young teacher has a heavy 
cincture, a la Grec. The buckles are big and of 
silver. Around her neck are several heavy gold 
chains of peculiar workmanship. This tem- 
porary governess of the children, whose grand- 
mother sends them all to us in turn to make their 


pretty obeisance, seems nothing loath to chat 

"Will not the children," I ask her, "give us a 
specimen of their acquisitions ?" 

" Yes, with pleasure." 

She makes them form a circle, and they com- 
mence their recitation. They make the pine 
woods echo to their tender Demosthenic philippics 
against the Turk. She has taught her little 
charges patriotic and other verses, in which the 
hated Ottoman comes in for vehement denunciation. 
A small ten-year-old pupil recites an appeal to Gre- 
cian patriotism. She casts furtive glances around 
lest some furious Ottoman with big turban and 
terrific scimitar should leap from the bushes. 
Luckily, all are Greeks upon the grounds. The 
youthful declaimer is allowed free range. Only 
upon sympathetic ears falls the stirring and furi- 
ous waves of Grecian anathema. Then a dialogue 
is recited. Then the small child, in costume, recites 
a Greek song, in the modern Greek, of course 
which is in strange contrast with her infantile 
voice and mien. " How does it sound, compared 
with the ancient Greek ? " you perhaps ask. That I 
can hardly answer. It is not unmusical. Its ca- 
dences, at times, are quite like the Italian, and in 
places it had some tough and harsh Teutonic 
tones; but on the whole it is quite musical. 

The conversation of those we meet, especially 



that of the Greek women of this isle, is soft and 
sweet in tone. Perhaps these young Graeco-Rus- 
sians have given to the modern Greek pronuncia- 
tion some jagged and ragged consonants which 
are foreign to the broad vowelled, ore-rotundo 
speech of the sweet South. 

The performance of the children being over, we 
call for ices and lemonade. A hurdy-gurdy ap- 
proaches. We improvise a Russian dance of the 
little ones en costume. Then, after much courtesy 
from the group, we bid them "good-bye." 

The young teacher promises to call at our 
villa, where she has seen the flag. This she ac- 
complishes at a propitious time with her pupils. 
We receive them in the arbor overlooking the 
road, and while listening to other recitations, we 
are fortunate enough to see the Turkish " Punch 
and Judy " approaching. The show is stopped and 
a i^N piasters serve to reciprocate their entertain- 
ment of us in the forest. And a funny one it 

The Turkish " Punch " is very grotesque. He car- 
ries on his show through all the details from the 
cradle to the wedding, and from the wedding to 
the grave, with all the alternations of funny 

We saw our little Greek teacher no more ; but 
she kindly remembered our admiration of the 
pretty Mordovski peasant costume, and sent 


Madame an apron of many colors, embroidered 
by her own cunning skill. 

It is said that this isle is much changed since 
the Crimean war. Then it was Turkish embarrass- 
ment and Greek opportunity. The soldiers of 
that war helped to give piquancy and adventure 
to the pleasurable gatherings upon the isle. 
Then the Greeks of both sexes met at these 
places of recreation and diversion, with all their 
bravery of talk and toilet. This was espe- 
cially the case in the old town of Prinkipo, which 
of late years has lost much of its prestige and at- 
traction. Still its immense plane tree in the old 
plaza spreads its shadow, and the restaurants 
around it do a good business, amid many amusing 

The old town reminds one of a town in Italy. 
It has narrow streets ; the markets are crowded 
with fruit, fish and meat stalls, and the street is full 
of donkeys and carriages, awaiting the arrival of 
the boats from the city. There are many saloons 
and coffee-houses, for the body of the folks are 
Greeks, and Greeks dearly love a tavern. There 
is in the homes of these traders and denizens 
much to remind one of the Dutch housen. 
They have a balcony or bay-window overhanging 
the street, with lights and beauties looking out at 
each end. The balcony is generally full of black- 
eyed, black-haired girls, who gaze curiously at the 


passers-by. The old town once had its own pier 
of debarkation and embarkation. That pier is 
now in ruins, having given way to the more preten- 
tious stone scala, in the new town. 

What merry times those were when the Maygar 
coffee-house supplied with its music, viands and 
intrigues the company which met around the big 
plane tree for coquetry and deviltry. 

Then husbands and brothers here met wives 
and sisters, to say nothing of lovers, to smoke 
cigarettes, drink lemonade and sherbet, and eat 
the walnuts already peeled and cracked. Then it 
was crowded of an evening, not as the scald res- 
taurant is now, to hear the music of the brass 
band, discoursing operatic airs, but to listen to an 
Arab band of tomtoms and flageolets. This bar- 
baric music seems to encourage the drinking of 
raki by the men. This white whiskey of the 
Orient is worse than Jersey lightning. Whether 
it was the music or the liquor that made them " rak- 
ish," is not told by gossipy tradition. But at the 
time of which I speak, it was the mode for the 
fashionable beauties Greek and Armenian to sit 
amidst the smoke and the raki fumes, on the little 
stools yet in vogue along the Bosphorus, for the ad- 
miration of the ruder sex. The Maygar hotel yet re- 
mains, not far from the present scala ; but it lacks 
the great overshadowing plane tree, whose roots and 
boughs were protected as all old trees are here, by 


a stone wall, and whose wooden seats and stools 
about the trunk were dimly lighted by lamps from 
its spreading branches. Caffantes surrounded the 
tree ; and while the Arab band played, torches burned 
and threw their shimmering light on the Greek 
and Armenian beauties seated around. Then there 
was a scene unknown to the witcheries of the 
present wooing world. These torches were called 
madahs. We still see them on the hills upon all 
festal nights. Then the Greeks burned them in 
honor of their "flames." The color is light blue, 
and much favored by those who represent Hamlet's 
father, in a proper ghostly style. When, there- 
fore, in the good old time, a lover wished espe- 
cially to honor his inamorata, he confidentially in- 
formed the master of the caff ante that he must 
burn so many madahs at his expense, and throw the 
light so as to designate and honor the " She " 
whose " fair divided excellence lies in him." Then 
the elected beauty shone out as a star. Envy glit- 
tered in other eyes. The swain arose and made 
his Oriental salaam toward the dark-eyed beauty, 
while the tom-tom of the tambourine and the scrap- 
ing of the viols celebrated this novel mode of elec- 
tion. On some occasions, when too much madah 
or raki was on board, little fortunes were spent 
by rich young Greeks, in honor of their favorite 
Helens. This was the mode of courting by the 
light of the moon ; for madah means " moonlight." 


When enacted by droning music and crazy mastic 
its spectral light must have been effective. All 
that is changed now. 

When the United States man-of-war " Kear- 
sarge " was here about the Fourth of July, at the 
request of the citizens I asked Admiral Franklin 
if he could send his brass band to the scala, to 
play for the assembled islanders. He acquiesced. 
Its music made ur flag known and popular. 
When I went down on the Sunday evening prome- 
nade, after the performance, I found our flag grace- 
fully entwined with the Turkish ensign over the 
archway of one of the cafes. The stars add their 
glow to the crescent. This conjoint patriotism is 
as inspiring as the heaven above is glorious with 
the crescent moon and the brilliant constellations 
of the deep Oriental sky. There is an Arab band 
of six robustious Maltese performing. Our patriot- 
ism succumbs to curiosity. The crowd seems en- 
tranced by the weird music of the strange instru- 
ments. There are two fiddles, a tambourine of fish 
skin, and a sort of zither. These make tinkling 
noises to the rapid movements of the vocalization 
which are appetizers to the thirsty Greeks. The 
Arab music brings Egypt to my memory. All 
that is wanting to make the illusion perfect is a 
bevy of brown-browed dancing girls. The dim 
lamp in a sepulchral hall displays strange cross- 
legged folk, smoking on divers divans. This 


Arabic style of droning scarcely changes a note for 
an hour. The words sung are loose love-words. 
It is fortunate that the Arab tongue is not well 
known. Mendelssohn's "Songs Without Words" 
would have been more decorous. 

At every turn and angle in these isles and waters 
there is something to remind one of Italy ; and 
especially of Naples, Genoa, Pisa and Venice. 
There is, vice versa, much in* superb Genoa, and 
palatial Venice in her primal bridal beauty, to 
remind us of these Grecian isles and Orient lands. 
Ischia and Procida are the hand-maidens of 
Naples, veiled with a violet haze, which gives them 
their witchery of loveliness. The Genoese tower 
at Galata dominates the Golden Horn with a 
proud and ancient glory. Upon the Moslem Sun- 
day this tower flies the ruddy crescent, a symbol 
of dynastic change. You cannot tread the narrow 
declivities of Galata without coming upon evi- 
dences of Italian supremacy there in the elder 
time, for Galata was once an Italian city, and the 
seat of an immense commerce. The Venetian pal- 
ace is almost concealed by its plebeian surround- 
ings. It has remained as the property of Austria, 
whose Legation is therein established ; for on the 
secession of Venetia from Austria, Italy did not 
reclaim this Oriental possession. The most sig- 
nificant reminder of pristine Italian glory in these 


lands it was my fortune to find in the upper gal- 
lery of St. Sophia. 

The other day, in walking over the worn stone 
pavement of the women's gallery of the old Greek 
edifice of St. Sophia lo ! Dandolo, the blind non- 
ogenarian of the Latin conquest of Constantino- 
ple at the beginning of the thirteenth century. 
Not in the body do we discover him. The place 
of his burial is unknown ; although it is known 
that the heroic old doge and ambassador to Con- 
stantinople had St. Chrysostom's church for his 
sepulchre. There at my very feet, almost dust- 
hidden, I spell out his name ! His name is quite 
legible. It gave a spell to the " Stones of Venice," 
which Ruskin has not catalogued. Like the stones 
of Memnon, even in the dim light from the dusty 
windows of that immense corridor, it gives its 
music from another sphere. Captor of Zara, soul 
of the Fourth Crusade, and Nemesis of the Com- 
nenus, it was his fire and vigor, when blind and 
aged, which compassed the fall of Stamboul, 
despite its 478 towers, its eighteen miles of triple 
walls, its fosses and fortifications, and its thousand 
years of immunity. Here he lies somewhere 
under the spacious dome ; but his fame has not 
died. The dragoman of our Legation, Gargiulo, 
who was with me when we discovered his monu- 
mental stone, is himself of Italian descent. He 



has promised me to rescue his bones and indite his 

This incident is mentioned that the reader may 
not marvel at the quantity and quality of the 
musical dialects spoken in and around Constanti- 
nople. The variety of speech is the consequence 
of the enterprise and eminence of Italy in the Middle 
Ages. Why, St. Mark's at Venice is but a copy of 
St. Sophia, almost its original ! The latter was 
spoiled to decorate the former. What spoils ! 
what opulence and imagery ! what pillars and al- 
tars ! " Ouida," who lives and writes at Venice, and 
receives much of her weird and luxurious fancies 
out of its very stones, has stormed against the 
abolition of the fairy gondolas and the introduc- 
tion of steam tugs with their Cardiff smirch upon 
the poetic and, I may add, the unfragrant canals. 
She protests in vain. It is like my lady of the 
twelfth century in her boudoir, embroidering a 
shepherd and his love, hurling furious obloquy 
against the loom of Jacquard. Let her Venetians 
restore St. Sophia ! But no ! It is Venice that 
is being "restored." Since 1840 St. Mark's, which 
had been sinking into the mud, has been under- 
going repair to establish its stability. Many a 
strange inscription appears in the transformation. 
Art not architecture, it is said, gave St. Mark's to 
the world. It was rather artifice than art. Its 
foundations and dome stand amid the changeful 


dynasties and religions. No shoving or bracing 
is needed at St. Sophia ; what is needed is that 
which once glorified it. When the Moslem white- 
wash is scraped off and the stolen property re- 
turned, what a wealth of art will reappear in the 
church of the Divine Wisdom ! When that is 
done we will all join in the Te Deiim Laudamus, 
even though it be chanted in the sweet tongue 
of the Italian spoiler. " 111 got, ill gone," says the 
proverb. In spite of all efforts to save the splen- 
did pile of St. Mark's it is cracked irremediably 
The lagoons, like time, are slowly hiding its 
beauties. No Mosaic wand can drive back the 
Adriatic. No Dandolo, like the Danish king, 
lives to say to the Adriatic : " Thus far ! and no 
farther!" Under the great dome of St. Mark's 
the tide ebbs and flows, or such tide as the Med- 
iterranean has to ebb and flow. No sealed 
crypt keeps out impermeably its ooze. The floors 
are breaking up. The invaluable decorations will 
soon follow. The mosaics are being effaced by 
the tourists' feet. Soon St. Mark's must be a new 
structure, on new foundations, or she will perish. 

It is not the Genoese tower, that stands on a 
treeless promontory of Halki, looking toward 
Stamboul, that alone marks the footsteps of Italy 
over these isles and lands. The hotels and the 
tinge of the Levantine patois show the recent 


prevalence of Italian trade and growth on these 
shores. Wordsworth sung of Venice : 

" Once she did hold the gorgeous East in fee." 

But now Italy is impotent to stay the great white 
Czar, or to do more than make the protest which 
she helped others to enforce in the Crimean war. 
Still Italy, next to France, is the relict radiance of 
European domination in these waters of the com- 
mercial Orient ! 



THE mist rolls away from my enchanted isle by 
five in the morning, if there be a mist ; or if not, 
the morning star sings "its spirit ditty of no 
tone," and departs. Then there is a reproduction 
of the evening before. It glows and glories over 
the Asian mountains. Their outlines are revealed 
in roseate tints ; and when the sun-god is fully 
adrive in his car, there appears a series of pictures 
on water and on land from minaretted Stamboul 
to the scattered villas at the base of the Bithynian 
mountains. Windows glance with their diamond 
splendors, morn and evening, like Prince Arthur's 
shield, whose brilliancy was so dazzling that it was 
covered with a veil, and "which to wight he never 
wont disclosed." The sails of the caiques show 
whiter as they sail. The sea-mews glisten, 
blanched in the light, as they sport on wave and 
in air. The early shepherd carols, as he goes his 
rounds for the pasturage of his mixed flock of 
goats and sheep. There is a fresher scent to the 
wild shrubbery and to the pine odor. The arbu- 



tus and cistus take away the stony glare of the 
ground. They garland the very vertebrae of the 
isle. The vineyards come forth in the morning 
lustre, with new dew, all prismatic ; and the olive- 
trees give to their peculiar dull verdancy a fresher 
than their normal legal-tender tint of silver. The 
lidless eye of God looks upon the prospect and it 
rejoices. It is new born of a night of starry splen- 
dor ! 

As the sun rises in the heavens, it is canopied 
with fleecy clouds. The ferry comes laden with 
Greeks and Armenians intent on picnics. Don- 
keys are in demand. Gardeners sprinkle and 
dress their favorite beds en toilette for the day. 
Around goes on the " chirp! chirp!" of the ci- 
cada. We have dedicated this superb day to an 
excursion to the remote end of the isle on the 
east. There St. George's monastery holds high 

The early Byzantine monks, and the emperors 
who sometimes became monks, always sought the 
highest mountains for their monasteries. There 
was one built on the summit of Mount Olympus, 
I mean the Mysian Olympus just as there had 
been one built on the peak of Athos. 

The monasteries in all parts of ancient Greece, 
as well as modern Greece, including those of the 
Princes Islands, were always built on elevations. 
In this the modern Greeks copy their pagan 


ancestors, who consecrated with temples the high- 
est peaks. The Acropolis was always especially 
honored. In fact, there are upon Mount Olympus 
to-day, as well as upon Mount Ida, monasteries 
whose cells are beautiful in their ruins. When 
the snow melts upon Olympus there are traces of 
the convents yet to be seen. 

The inaccessibility of some of these monas- 
teries is beyond description. There is one known 
as the Convent of the Pulley. It is on the banks 
of the Nile. You approach it through the rocks, 
or rather you are received by the worthy brethren 
who jump, one after another, into the Nile to 
assist you to secure the boat with ropes and 
anchors, so that you may scramble up the heights 
with the aid of the blue-robed monks. 

Sometimes these monasteries are reached not 
without risk from, the brigands of the neighbor- 
hood. Sometimes they are reached by. ascent 
through hundreds of airy feet with the aid of 
ropes. The idea of being hoisted into or near 
heaven with the aid of fragile hemp is not alto- 
gether unknown in our country to sentimental 
sympathizers with martyrs who have been con- 
victed of murder in the first degree. There is a 
monastery on the Gulf of Corinth, under the 
shadow of an overhanging precipice. There are 
the monasteries of Meteora, and Mount Athos, 
both remarkable for their wild inaccessibility. 


Many of the convents in Syria and the islands 
of the archipelago are associated with those of 
the Princes Islands, as unrivalled for the beauty 
of their position and the splendor of their sur- 
roundings. Besides, there are many others in 
Bulgaria, Asia Minor, Sinope and other places 
on the Euxine, which remain as curious monu- 
ments of a wonderful era, when men sought exile 
in strange places from the eventful social life. 
Curzon, whose " Monasteries of the Levant " is 
still read, found one in Persia, ensconced in the 
fissures of a rock, with odd gardens adjoining the 
buildings, displaying the horticultural intelligence 
of the monks, the whole having the appearance of 
a das relief against a wall. He calls it a large 
swallow's nest. There are other hermitages of the 
same description among the precipices of the Jor- 
dan. These houses he studies, because they are 
the most ancient specimens of domestic architec- 
ture, next after the houses at Pompeii. Their an- 
tiquity is illustrated by the monasteries on Mount 
Sinai, at Cairo, at the head of the Euphrates, 
and wherever the Greek faith prevailed. They 
date back to the fifth and sixth centuries, with 
contemporaneous relics, and crosses of rare work- 
manship, illustrative of the peculiar art of those 
early periods. 

It is to be noted in this connection, that the 
monasteries, especially those which are our neigh- 


bors on the Princes Islands, have undergone much 
trial and trouble from the subjugation of the 
Greek to the Mahometan. This has kept down 
the splendor of the Church and oftentimes de- 
stroyed the establishment itself. Many of these 
monasteries were regarded as castles. Curzon 
himself says, that once while dining inside one of 
them he heard, even at his meals, and while the 
brotherhood were reading homilies from St. 
Chrysostom, shouts and shots fired against the 
stout bulwarks of the walls by enemies from with- 
out. Was not this in strange contrast with the 
cadences of the good fathers within ? 

But we have started to investigate St. George's 
monastery, the most celebrated of those located 
on the Princes Isles. 

We are hospitably received by Father Arsen- 
ius, who alone is in charge. He invites us to his 
cool chambers in the second story of his monas- 
tic domicile. The views through the large window 
are far-reaching and splendid. He shows us the 
images of his shrines in the old church. They 
are black with the holy-candle smoke of centuries. 
An old parchment Testament, illuminated, of the 
year 600, is produced. It is his chief joy. It 
is a volume quite worn. It was brought by Father 
Arsenius from his old home in the Peloponnesus. 
Its text is in the Greek. The illuminations in red 
and blue indicate its antiquity and consequent 


sanctity. In the little chapel there are a half- 
dozen pictures ; but the gold is tarnished, and the 
flesh colors also dimmed with the sacred grime of 
smoking candles. 

The good father, with much courtesy of man- 
ner and many inquiries about America, recognizes 
the American minister as an " Excellency." He 
invites us to see the holy spring. It is in a deep 
chamber amidst the rocks. He gives us a drink 
of its clear, cool water. Then we follow him to 
a sombre room still below. This chamber has a 
stony forbidding aspect. It is almost on the 
rugged edge of a precipitous rock. It is, or was, 
a retreat for the insane. There is only one 
patient now. He is not there to receive us ; but 
the iron rings, oxidized with time, are there, fixed 
in the stone floor. This humble ferruginous 
memento of the days when the crazed were 
treated, worse than the criminal, excites much 
interest. In vain we question the father about it. 
He only knows his prayers and his illuminated 
missals. Science, with its ameliorations, has not 
to him any of the modern medicines for a mind 
diseased. However, we do glean with the aid of 
my Dalmatian, Pedro, who talks modern Greek 
with the orthodox father, some hints of this asy- 
lum. From these hints we evolve this story of the 
convent : 

The legend goes, that many years ago, a shep- 


herd tending his flock on the summit, where the 
monastery stands now, went to 1 sleep one hot 
afternoon. In his sleep he has a dream. In the 
dream he is advised to dig in a certain spot 
close to where he is lying and "he would hear of 
something to his advantage." He digs and finds 
a horseman mounted on a beautiful white charger, 
with bells hung round the animal's neck. The 
horseman makes a behest to the sleeping shepherd. 

He is enjoined to dig again, according to direc- 
tions. He digs and finds an old picture. It rep- 
resents exactly the horseman whom he had seen 
in his dream, even to the bells round the horse's 

A superstitious importance is attached to the 
discovery. This is strengthened by the fact that 
the shepherd, who previously was quite an im- 
becile, the moment he touches the picture be- 
comes possessed of the most extraordinary knowl- 
edge in all matters. The picture is recognized. 
It represents St. George. From the fact of the 
bells round the horse's neck not being painted but 
real bells, the picture, when it was discovered by the 
shepherd, was and is still called "St. George of 
the Bells." In consequence of the sudden change 
which took place in the mental faculties of the 
shepherd when he touched the picture, a popular 
belief was engendered, and still prevails, that the 
picture possesses healing qualities in respect to 


persons diseased in mind. That persons slightly 
deranged, and more particularly hypochondriacs, 
derive much benefit from a sojourn in this monas- 
tery is a fact in support of which many examples 
are cited. Its splendid position, bracing air and 
regular diet, free from all excitement may have 
more to do with the cure than the healing qual- 
ities attributed to the picture. Where the picture 
was discovered this church and subsequently the 
monastery were built. 

It is the view under the clear sky and tonical air 
rather than the picture that we have climbed the 
mountain to see. The distant view more than re- 
pays for the exertion. Beneath is " a sea of glass 
like unto crystal, which was before the throne." 
The near view is as wild a spot as the imagination 
could desire. Around and below are rocks piled on 
rocks, gray granite rocks, somewhat red with iron- 
rust, and amidst them various trees and shrubbery. 
At one coup d'ceil we see the shores and isles. As 
we gaze, the full moon rises out of Asia on the 
south-east, and the full red and purple blaze of 
the sinking sun makes its long shadows and mys- 
tical lore in the west. Diana with her bow of 
silver, and Apollo with his arrows tipped with 
roseate light, brother and sister, unite to glorify 
the isles, out of whose myths in ancient days rose 
those Hellenic creations which the world has 
accepted as aptly interpretative of nature ! 


The good father bids us ascend to his reception- 
room in the second story. As we ascend we pass 
an open door and enter the ante-room. It looks 
like a little arsenal. With the aid of my Dal- 
matian interpreter, Pedro, I question the father, 
pointing- to the three guns and a big cavalry 
sword hanging against the wall : 

" So you, like my servant's apostolic namesake 
Peter, use carnal weapons upon these serene 
heights of devotion ? " 

The good father's eyes sparkle and snap. He 
lifts off from the spike on the wall an American 
Martini rifle. He opens its breach tubes. He 
clicks it, with another snap of his Greek eye. 
Then he responds with a smile : 

"Yes, Excellence. We must be ready/ We 
cannot tell in this lonely spot when we may be 

" But the sword, good Father Arsenius, what of 
the sword ? Is it a relic of the ' Peloponnesiacum 
Bellum ; ' or is it one of the evidences of your 
ancient Spartan spirit and valor ? Is it an Ar- 
chaian souvenir, or an Arcadian cheese-knife ? 
Or is it an heirloom of your family out of the 
more recent Greco-Turkish revolution ? " 

He catches the raillery of my ironic talk. He 
seizes the old sword. He handles it like an old 
soldier of Macedon. With Spartan brevity he 
rejoins : 


" Excellence ! It is good for bad heads." Point- 
ing to the Bithynian coast, he adds : " Brigands 
have been here from yonder shore ! " 

It is indeed a lonely spot. The promontory, 
extending out to the sea, further east on the isle, 
was once a convenient resort for brigands from 
the main land. There now lives, alone on its 
extreme point, an old monk, who was formerly a 
prodigious brigand chief from the mountains of 

In the monasteries of the Princes Islands the 
old monkish establishments are obsolete. I be- 
lieve that they in some sort are under the control of 
the monks of Mount Athos. But from what I ob- 
served in the monasteries at the Princes Islands, 
the rigid rule against the admission of females is 
not applied. Most of these monastic communities 
debar all female creatures ; yet they have the poor 
taste to allow within their precincts huge tom-cats. 
These are procured from the outside, of course. 
The communities are kept up by the admission of 
members from without, and as some of the monks 
have entered the monastery in early life, the image 
of womankind has faded completely from their 
memory. In fact, the question is often asked 
outside as well as inside : " What sort of creatures 
are women, anyhow?" 

At Mount Athos not a female of any kind, not 
a cow, nor a she-cat, nor a mare, nor a ewe, is 


allowed within the sacred precincts. No female 
is allowed to exist upon their sacred ground ; and 
yet travellers have said and avouched that female 
fleas live long enough here to breed, until the 
nuisance becomes a positive martyrdom. These 
pests are bred from the filth in the cells ; and the 
dirty appearance of the monks indicates that they 
assist this breeding. But nothing is so thor- 
oughly sweet, elegant and clean as the monasteries 
in and around Prinkipo, of which St. George of 
the Bells is a chief ornament. 

The good father invites us to his principal 
chamber. It speaks of feminine neatness and per- 
petual purity ; quite unlike the exclusive masculine 
style of Mount Athos. Its dress is of white lace 
on sofa and chair and at the windows. He orders 
his hand-maiden to bring us refreshments. Along 
with fresh water from the well below, she tenders 
us on a silver salver a dish of conserve of roses. 
You take a spoonful of this dainty dish, and dis- 
solve its honeyed atomies with toothsome delight ; 
then a draught of the cold water, followed by the 
inevitable mocha in a tiny cup set in a silvery 
fingan of filigree. Thus refreshed you look 
around. The white walls are not altogether bare. 
Here are pictures of St. George and the Dragon, 
King George of Greece and his queen, the patri- 
archs of the Orthodox Church and Abdul Mejid, 
the liberal Sultan of twenty odd years ago. Here, 


too, is Abdul Asiz, his son, on a gray charger, 
passing in front of his soldiers. He dresses in 
Turkish breeches of voluminous size now obsolete. 
The Czars of Russia also depend from the white- 
washed walls. Many cards of celebrities lie upon 
a dish on the table. The dish is two feet in diam- 
eter. It is decorated with a fine painting of the 
Saviour and his apostles, and a verse in English 
from Matthew xii., ist verse. It is a gift from an 
English visitor. An ornate lantern of Turkish 
make, the kind used by families on the dark 
streets of Stamboul before gas or American pe- 
troleum gave their light to the Orient, is upon 
the table under the gay-colored chandelier. A 
beautiful and large Easter egg, with a resplendent 
picture of the Conception and Ascension on its 
shell, hangs by blue virginal ribbons to the wall. 
Is not blue the favorite color of the Immaculate 
Mary ? This is a present from Rus'sia. A gilt 
horseshoe hangs over a thermometer, and this com- 
pletes the furniture of the reception room, where 
our reverend "papa" in his long black gown and 
rubicund visage, holds court. 

We enjoyed many pleasant visits to the 
monastery of St. George of the Bells. In none of 
them, however, did we see the mounted horseman. 
He doubtless was an illusion of some insane de- 
votee or inmate of St. George. That saint always 
appears as a cavalier. The bells are here, as they 



are on the other monasteries of the isles. The 
clangor which is beginning to arouse protestations 
against the use of bells in cities, has no reason 
when applied to such a locality as this isle. The 
vibrations and music of the monastery bells touch 
tender chords of memory, and seem appropriate 
to those ceremonies which awaken the best emo- 
tions of our nature. While I was not impressed 
with the magnitude of the arsenal of St. George, I 
could not fail to moralize upon the incident in its 
association with the bells. The morale took the 
form of Longfellow's poem after looking at the 
arsenal of Springfield. It was prompted by the 
sound of the bell upon the distant monastery of 
Christos, floating to us upon the still evening air 
with solemn, sweet vibrations, which gave to the 
poet's soul the voice of Him who was the Prince 
of Peace. 

When Mohammed II. captured Constantinople, 
although he granted many privileges to the Greek 
Church, he prohibited the use of bells. The bells 
annoyed other populations ; but he allowed them 
to be used in the churches and monasteries of the 
Isles of the Princes. There they still remain. 
These islands were then exclusively inhabited by 
Greeks. No other people were disturbed by the 
resonance of the bells. 

There seems to have been much prejudice 
among certain sects in the East against the use of 




bells. I have seen in Jerusalem a heavy resound- 
ing oak board, which, being struck by a metallic 
bar, calls the religionists to prayers. In the inte- 
rior of the court of the old Greek monasteries, 
there is often seen a monk who calls the congre- 
gation to prayer, not as the Moslem does, from 
the minaret with his shrill appeal to Allah, nor by 
the bells which were permitted to remain upon 
this island, but by a bit of board called the Siman- 
dro, which is generally used instead of bells during 

After a small contribution to the good father, 
and many farewells, we mount our donkeys and 
go home by the moonlight that now floods the 
isle. It is too late to make a visit to the other 
monastery. That is reserved for a promenade on 
foot, as it is near our villa. 




IN a beautiful volume by Rose Elizabeth Cleve- 
land, the 'sister of the President-, there is a 
clever essay on the monastery. Aside from much 
transcendental remark upon the cloistered life, the 
essay has the merit of a succinct statement of 
the rise and object of monachism. Miss Cleve- 
land makes a contrast between the chivalric 
and haughty soldier of the Middle Ages, and the 
humble monk in sombre cowl and scanty^ gown 
stiffened " by reason of his abstinence from the 
sinful luxury of ablution." She calls these men 
the aristocrats of society, the bulwark and orna- 
ment of the church. Royalty bowed to them. 

Her estimate is evidently taken from Gibbon's 
chapters, and Gibbon's chapters have been toned 
by his study of the Greek convents which played 
so significant a part in the history of the " Decline 
and Fall." The rise of this body of self-sacrific- 
ing recluses shadows of the living amidst other 
shadows she traces back to Antony of Egypt. 
She fixes their locus in quo amidst the region of 



tombs and stone-covered caves filled with the 
bones and dust of human skeletons. Therein was 
their place of penitence. In strange contrast with 
this picture were the elastic monastics of later 
times, such as Walter Scott describes and such as 
these isles knew in the time of their prosperity. 
They were men of scholarly worth, and yet they 
appreciated physical comfort. The Benedictines in 
the Latin Church are praised for their general bene- 
faction. They were the agents for the spread 
of Christianity, civilization and learning in the 
West, while penitential cloisters gave refuge to 
the inherent monastic spirit which Miss Cleveland 
classes among the natural diseases of mankind, 
when carried to excess. She regards the rise 
of these soul-hospitals as the result of an indeter- 
minate feeling among men, hovering between the 
old world of Paganism and the new one which 
ushered in dimly the Christian faith. This is the 
life Jerome followed and Chrysostom eulogized : 
" Afar from the shadow of roofs and the smoky 
dungeons of cities, came the mystic light from the 
unseen world." 

Miss Cleveland closes her paper with the en- 
trance of Charles V. into the monastery and with 
the divine pillar of Simeon. She comprehends in 
her sketch a truthful, though I think an exagger- 
ated view of the strangest institution to which 
man ever consecrated his religious energy. These 


isles are full of the evidences of this cloistered 
energy. When we visit Halki, Antigone and 
Proti, we perceive better illustrations of it than 
the Turks allowed to remain in Prinkipo. 

The temperament of the Oriental tends to relig- 
ious emotion and elevation of soul. It leads to 
the different forms of mysticism which have pre- 
vailed in the monastic life. There are various 
names given to these monastic people. There is 
one especially translatable. It is that of Quietist. 
How far at the present time religious contempla- 
tion forms a part of the life of the monk, has not 
yet been revealed, and certainly not to the 
tourists who visit the celebrated monasteries in 
the East. Many enter the monastery because 
when they become old and after a life somewhat 
irregular, they desire to repent in solitude. Some 
have been engaged in trade and have had disap- 
pointments. A gentleman who visited Mount 
Athos made inquiry and found that the love of 
tranquillity, pure and simple, without any religious 
enthusiasm, had overcome a grocer from Corfu, a 
tailor from Byzantium, a merchant from Syria, a 
sailor from Cephalonia and a leech-gatherer from 
Larissa, in Thessaly ! One would surmise that 
the last-named person would naturally feel disin- 
clined to solitary contemplation ; for-there could 
be nothing so haunting and horrible as the mem- 
ory of blood-sucking ! 



The motive which impels so many to take the 
monastic vow, and which they keep with great 
fidelity in these Oriental monasteries, is the love 
of tranquillity. This grows upon the devotee, like 
any other habit. It is a great temptation for a 
class of men to forsake the world, and find their 
happiness in some hermitage, especially in a land 
where there is so much balm and beauty of scen- 
ery, and where the human kind brings so much 
care and trouble. This class become weary of a 
world where there is perpetual revolution in human 
thought, and restless progress in human endeavor. 
There is a great fascination for them to abide in 
such a " laboratory of all the virtues," as Mount 
Athos has been called. 

There have been some, however, who have de- 
generated after selecting these monasteries for 
life. They return to the earth with its activities 
and pleasures. I have in my mind the experience 
of a German, who recanted before he entirely gave 
his mind and vow to the work ; for, after reaching 
Salonica from Mount Athos, he made a candid con- 
fession. Although he had little care for the en- 
joyments of this world, he had not elevated him- 
self in the scale of righteousness by his secluded 
life. When he returned to the flesh pots again, 
how he devoured the political newspapers, maga- 
zines and reviews! How hungrily he foraged in 
the libraries of his consul ! Thus he demonstrated 


the emptiness of that life which was inside the 
cloister, and which shrank from the heat and dust 
of political and social activity. 

It is nearly forty years ago since Curzon wrote 
his "Visits to the Monasteries of the Levant." 
It is a comprehensive book, and gives in detail all 
that is worth knowing as to the architecture of the 
monastic structures and the spirit of their recluses. 

That which inspired his book was his collection 
of ancient manuscripts. These he had picked up in 
various out-of-the-way places in his travels. They 
were of white vellum leaves. While admiring the 
antiquity of one and the golden azure of another 
manuscript, there arose memories and reflections 
of the strange places from which they came and 
the strange people from whom he obtained them. 
He gives an account of the most curious of these 
manuscripts and the adventures connected with 
what he calls the pursuit of his venerable game. 
Most of the monasteries which I have visited in 
the Princes Isles have old manuscripts or antique 
Scriptures. These are the first thing the monk 
shows to the stranger. Besides the Holy Script- 
ures, there are many writings which have been 
composed within the precincts of the monastery. 
They have reference to the rules of Christian life. 
Some of them promulgate the doctrines of the he- 
resiarchs, which in the early ages of the Church 
created so much confusion and rancor. The 



author, Curzon, however, does not dwell so much 
upon his trophied manuscripts. He grows elo- 
quent by the contemplation of the picturesque and 
superb natural situation of the monasteries. 

He tells many curious stories about his mode 
of procuring the rare manuscripts which he col- 
lected in the Orient, many of which have been 
placed in the British Museum. He travelled 
many miles at great risk to find them. On one 
occasion he was after a Syrian manuscript of great 
value. It was alleged to be in an old monastery 
in Egypt, near the Matron lakes. He took good 
care to carry along with him some persuasive ele- 
ments not recognized generally among the literary 
amenities, but he was so anxious for the manu- 
script and a Coptic dictionary of which he was in 
pursuit, that he filled his carpet bag with some 
bottles of rosoglio. This is a liqueur to which the 
Orthodox Greek monks are partial. Many of the 
monks even on Mount Sinai comfort themselves 
with this spirit. It seemed to be potential, 
more so than a golden fee. Curson gathers the 
monks around him. He fills their cups with the 
sweet, pink rosoglio, and the monks with much talk 
about good-w r ill and humanity. Now Curzon 
knows that there is a famous old crypt, in which 
the manuscripts are kept. The monks have no 
idea of the precious souvenirs below their cells ; 
but at last, by social persuasion, they discover a 


narrov/, low door which enters a small closet. 
This is the crypt. It is filled with manuscripts 
to the depth of two feet. Lying there perdu are 
the loose leaves of the Syrian manuscripts, which 
now form one of the chief treasures of the 
British Museum. 

"Ah I at last!" he exclaims, " here is the 
magic box! It is a heavy one." 

The boozy monks shout out : 

" A box ! A box ! Bring it out ! " 

" Heaven be praised ! " they scream ; " we have 
a treasure ! " 

They pull out the box, and thus is resurrected 
some most interesting manuscripts. They have 
been buried in this ignoble literary grave for cent- 
uries. Let the guild of letters drink bumpers to 
Curzon, the literary detective of the ages, and 
drink deep in the pink rosoglio ! 

I have read a story of a famous monk, I think 
he was of Alexandria. He belonged to the early 
day, perhaps in the fourth century. He went 
through all the austerities of the desert, and 
wound up in one of the cells on the borders of the 
Matron lakes. He was followed by many of his 
faith. They lived separately, but they assembled 
together on Sunday and had a sort of prayer meet- 
ing. They were totally abstinent. A tourist gave 
the saint a bunch of grapes. He sent it to another 
brother; that other brother sent it to a third 



brother ; at last the grapes passed through the 
hands of some hundreds, and came back to the 
saint. He was happy in the abstinence of his 
brethren, but he refused to eat himself. This was 
the same saint who killed a gnat which was biting 
him. It made him so unhappy that he retired to 
a marsh where the flies had immense power, 
equal to a Jersey mosquito, but he stood the in- 
sectivorous infliction like a high-toned, chivalric, 
middle-aged and manly monk. His body was so 
much disfigured when he went back to the mon- 
astery, that his brethren only knew him by his 
voice ; and even his voice had a strange sound, 
like that of a buzz-saw in motion. 

One of the romantic legends which haunts the 
neighborhood of the monastery on Mount Sinai 
is that connected with the disappearance of a con- 
vent. There is yet heard, between the Sinaite 
mountains and the Gulf of Suez, the music of its 
bells. It floats down on the breeze at the can- 
onical hours. The Arabs declare that they have 
been within the convent, but that the moment 
they cross the threshold they lose sight of it. 
The Bedouins have similar legends about other 
convents. Some of these supposititious convents 
are buried beneath the sand. Others have a bodi- 
less hand, ringing the vesper bell. 

On the top of Mount Sinai, which is scarcely 
thirty paces in compass, there is not much room 


for any structural or musical performance. The 
dignity of that mountain comes from another 
source ! 

Considering the beauty of this world, the love- 
liness of its Tempes, the splendor of its Olympian 
prospects, is it not strange that so many of our 
kind creep into caves in their monastic fanaticism ? 
The Orient especially has had whole flocks of 
hermits roosting in pigeon holes upon the sides of 
mountains. Some of these caves are so high and 
some so far below the surface that we can only 
liken the monks who live in one or the anchorites 
who burrow in the other, to animals. In the time 
of the Crusades, when the Saracen was roving 
about the Eastern world, his favorite diversion 
was hermit-hunting. In the early Greek frescoes 
frightful representations of these chases are pict- 
ured. The Saracen on horseback with long spear 
punctures the monk and hermit. There is some- 
thing heroic in this monastic constancy to a faith, 
that never seems to be outworn, a constancy 
which leaves home, riches, even thrones and all 
mundane pleasures to seek for tribulation. These 
men retire to the very dens of the earth, subject 
themselves to cold and hunger and all the agonies, 
trusting that their pain in this world may be their 
felicity hereafter, and that those who bear the 
cross to-day will wear the crown to-morrow. 



THE monasteries of our neighbors in Prinkipo 
have but few monks. These seem almost entirely 
engrossed with secular affairs. They look after 
the lands and the funds. They make grain and 
wine, and at the same time keep up their religious 
exercises on proper occasions. If you would have 
the monastic life of the East in all its fulness and 
variety you will have to go to Mount Athos. 
There you find about three thousand monks, not 
to speak of a population of seculars who reside in 
the vicinity and who may amount to three thou- 
sand more. There are many monasteries, the 
monks of which vary from twenty-five to three 
hundred. It is very difficult for a stranger to 
obtain accurate information as to these figures. 
The Greek is not a statistician. He answers no 
question with facility and satisfaction. If you ask 
him a question, as I have asked the monks on this 
island, his answer invariably is, " Nobody knows," 
or to put it in the Greek, Hoeot; rb l^eu^e. The truth 
is, nobody here cares an obolus about the antiquities 
or history of the monasteries, or their imperial 




founders. The modern Greek priest cares as 
little for that of which we inquire as he does for 
Homer and his divinities. Let us, however, try 
the experiment of inquisition with our nearest 
neighboring monastery. 

Within half a mile of our villa, up the moun- 
tain, is the monastery of Christos. It is being 
rebuilt. It is not so old as the others upon the 
isles, but the structure is more extensive and 
stately. It has a revenue as well from the Greek 
orthodox establishment as from its tillable land. 
There are a half dozen monks who attend to the 
gardens and raise the grapes and make the wine, 
which is the favorite vin du pays of the isles. They 
purchase grapes in large quantities from the Asian 
vineyards, which lie in a southerly and easterly 
exposure over the long range of land across the 

To this monastery is my morning walk. There 
is a half-way place under the broad sheltering 
arms of the pines, where a score or more of people 
can rest on a circle of stone seats. From here you 
can look down into the Alpine vale below, covered 
with vineyards, figs, olives and cypresses. To 
complete the sylvan scene the pine forests skirt 
this valley. On reaching its top, on the right and 
among the pines, are a dozen splendid tombs. 
They are walled up on the side of the hill near the 
monastic group of buildings. Here the rich and 

1 4 2 


the notable are buried. The crown on their monu- 
ments indicates rank and station. Here are the 
tombs of the patriarchs of the church. 

As I wend my way up to the monastery upon 
this quiet Sabbath day, I find a freshly laid circlet 
of rare flowers upon one of these monuments. It 
is a new monument, made since we have lived 
here. In the shadow of the trees fronting the 
monastery are a dozen or more of elegant carriages 
and dog-carts, with liveried drivers. Something 
unusual is going on. I enter the alley that leads to 
the church, pass between the line of beggars hold- 
ing out their boxes for piasters. There is a crowd 
of peddlers selling bread, in rings a foot in 
diameter. This bread has the look of pretzels. 
They are piled artistically, ring on ring, upon huge 
platters carried upon the heads of the venders, 
or are placed upon tripods. The bread is called 
simits. The picture will show the vender. I 
enter the church. It is commodious and full of 
people of all classes. Where could they come 
from, and so early? From the village a mile or 
more below ? I suppose so. There is a sweet 
canticle being sung by trained boys. Is there a 
funeral ? I see no coffin and no corpse ; for at 
Greek funerals the body is exposed in the coffin. 
Many large candles are aflame ; and many of the 
people, especially those in elegant toilet, hold 
smaller lighted tapers. A bishop in full canonicals, 



crozier in hand, and a hat gorgeous with gold, and 
a stole of most beautiful satin with gold em- 
broidery, enters the pulpit. Around him stand 
other priests, some in purple robes, some in their 
plain black dresses, all with the strange black hat 
whose crown is rimless, save at its top ! The 
chant is taken up by the priests. The candles 
are decorated with white and black ribbons. 
Many of the visitors are in mourning. Some are 
weeping ; but it is not a funeral. It is the cus- 
tomary mass for the souls of the dead. It is usual, 
as I learn, forty days after death to have such 
ceremonies when the family can afford it. The 
chant ends. The flowers are carried out to the 
tomb, and with them three large mysterious bas- 
kets. These baskets are draped in crape ; and rib- 
boned with white and black. I follow the crowd 
of villagers and peasants who throng about the 
tomb. Here the baskets are emptied. Each per- 
son rushes pell-mell to obtain some of the contents 
of the baskets. These contain flour, boiled simply 
with water and salt. Some eat portions on the 
spot. The women fill their handkerchiefs with it 
and the boys their hats. All struggle and almost 
fight over the sacred emblem, which has been 
blessed. It is a curious ceremony. When done, 
the parties immediately interested re-enter their 
vehicles. The gentlemen light their cigarettes. 
Much bustle ensues. The soul of the departed is 


supposed to be quiescent and pacified ! Not- 
withstanding the solemnity of the sweet music and 
that the candles are beautifully symbolic of the 
reillumination of the soul, and despite the old 
pictures of the Saviour, the Virgin and the saints 
with their golden aureoles and radiant glories, 
which make the scene impressive, yet the finale 
with the bread and the mob of folk 'who rush to 
eat and bear it off, is not consonant with the 
solemn beauty of the ceremony and scene. 

The Greek congregation is not particularly 
reverent, although the rites are ceremonious. 
I cannot but feel that in their devotion they 
have not intensely the religious feeling or emo- 
tion. I have before me a statement which con- 
firms my remark : A lady visits one of these 
churches with a friend who is a Greek devotee. 
The latter is a fashionable woman. She conducts 
her friend in a courtly way around the church 
during service, to look at the pictures of the port- 
ly and sad-eyed martyrs. She lights a dozen 
or more of tapers to show her pious zeal ; and 
as she lights them, as the story is told, she hums 
in an undertone the barcarolle in Masahiello, 
muttering between the staves : 

" The Virgin ! I shall give her four candles. Is 
not my own name Mary? Look ! What a pretty 
effect ! Note her gold hand and her silver crown 
with the light flashing on them ! Now comes St. 



George, I like St. George. He shall have two 
candles. Who is this? Oh ! St. Nicholas; I can- 
not bear St. Nicholas. I shall pass him by ! " 

Her companion ventures to intercede in favor 
of St. Nicholas. 

tl Very well, then ! As you wish it ! There is 
one candle for him ! but he never was a favorite 
of mine ! There are two saints in the calendar to 
whom I never burn a taper, St. Nicholas and St. 

It is not to be ignored that in the church cere- 
monies there is need of some gentle warder. 
What with the bowing and the whispering and 
the laughing and the fidgeting of those who are 
gathered in a Greek church; what with the lat- 
tices of the gallery where even yet in some places 
the females are shut as it were in a prison, and the 
chanting of the priests in some sort of reckless 
music, there is not enough to attract the ear with 
sweetness and gentleness, or to impress the be- 
holder with veneration. Ah ! I forget the gor- 
geous stoles of the priests. The clergy seem to 
hold the Eastern Greek in thrall by their superb 
attire. So it is with the head-dress of the priests. 
The very hair upon the head of the Greek priest 
has a patriarchal air. It may, like a crucifix, or a 
torch, or a sacred candle, give an added solemnity 
to the scene. Perhaps it is known to the reader 
that the Greek priests are not permitted to use 




either razor or scissors. They can only reduce 
their beard by plucking it out. This is an old 
Jewish law. They do this plucking with such skill 
as to make their locks look elegant without being 
too abundant. In part they resemble our Amer- 
ican Indians, who pluck their beard from their 
faces, though they never worship God by tearing 
their hair. I have seen some of the Greek priests 
who must have omitted this species of martyrdom, 
as their back hair was done up in coifs after the 
feminine fashion. The Greek priests have a 
splendid physique, from which even their feminine 
head attire does not detract. 

A stranger in a strange land, almost unnoticed 
except by the beggar who asks alms of me, I 
pursue my way after the ceremonies of Christos 
church, to the Diaskalon, the Greek name for 
the grand plateau and restaurant. The flags 
of all the nations deck its central pavilion. 
Scattered at various elevations are these same 
funereal people at the tables and chairs under 
the pines. They are inhaling the aromatic 
pleasures which mingle with the fumes of the 
coffee and tobacco ; and therewithal the recent 
mourners of the church are solacing themselves. 

From beneath the wooded coverts we catch 
glimpses of the bluest of seas and the clearest of 
skies, broken by the mountains on the mainland 
and isles, whose grandeur never ceases to attract 


the vision. Resting here, I reflect on the strange- 
ness and remoteness of the scenes of the morn- 
ing. They are a curious blending of classic Pa- 
ganism with Christian rites. The very crosier of 
the Patriarch, with its eagle and serpent is copied 
from the bdton of Jove, and a hundred incidents 
remind me rather of the Hellenic mythology than 
of the monastic and Christian life which is here 

The Greek church and ceremony which I had the 
pleasure to observe at Christos did not please 
me as much as the mosque and its ceremony. 
The mosque has a simplicity of beauty. The 
Greek church has its altar, which is separated from 
the church by a screen, but it has neither aisles nor 
side chapels. The screen is ornamented, as is the 
church, by pictures of saints. Shade of Raphael ! 
What pictures! How hard, dry and horrible they 
look. The Greek Church will not have images, it 
is said. Surely these pictures are the likenesses 
of nothing in heaven, or on earth, or in the waters 
under the earth. No Catholic in Spain would 
have dreamed of decorating his favorite saint 
with such votive offerings. Besides, the decora- 
tions in gold and silver on hands, eyes, ears and 
nose give such a comical effect, that the beholder 
only enjoys it as the caricature of art, and not as 
an aid to religion. 

Many of the pictures that I have seen in the 



Greek and Coptic churches, and many of the man- 
uscripts, are adorned with grim painted illumina- 
tions. They are from colors composed of various 
ochres. The outlines are first drawn with a pen 
or brush made by chewing the end of a reed 
until it is reduced into filaments. This pen is 
then nibbled into proper form, after the ancient 
Egyptian method. With this ceed, or pen, the de- 
votee fills up the spaces between the etchings with 
his colors. The Virgin is generally dressed in 
blue ; the other figures are of a brownish red, and 
they all have a curious cast in the eye. The ar- 
tistic work is hardly equal to that of the ancient 
Greek or of the modern Italian, but yet many of 
the oldest churches and some of the rarest books; 
of the Old and New Testaments, as well as the 
manuscripts of many classic works have thus been 
glorified by much rude art. 

The ceremony of blessing the grapes, to which 
I have referred, is another example of classic 
reminiscence ; nor is it confined to the Ortho- 
dox Greek church. There is a Catholic Armenian 
church in the village of Prinkipo. Upon one 
Sunday morning we were invited to be present 
to witness the same ceremony in that beautiful 
church. The church was arrayed with all the 
flowers of the season. An immense basket of 
grapes stood upon the gorgeous altar. The Patri- 
arch, who is a brother of the Armenian banker, 


Azarian, conducted the services. It was a touch- 
ing and reverent recognition of the kindly gifts of 
God. But, after all, is it not taken from the simi- 
lar ancient Greek ceremonies which were intended 
to honor Bacchus, who " first from out the purple 
grape crushed the sweet poison of wine " ? The 
great world, as Tennyson has it, may spin forever 
down the ringing grooves of change, but how 
much of the changeless remains ! The very 
images of Greek beauty in feature are here, wor- 
shipping the god of the vine, in the church of 
Jesus Christ. 

" Vulgar parents cannot stamp their race 
With signatures of such majestic grace." 

The priest of Apollo stands confessed at the 
altars of Prinkipo ! 

The Greeks have a good deal to answer for. 
Their faults are numerous, but they are superficial. 
As in other nations, so among the Greeks, the 
scum rises and is prominent. The timeo Danaos 
and the wooden horse have demoralized them in 

The Greek is not to be confounded with the Le- 
vantine. The latter is a mixed race, from Italy, 
Malta, France and other western lands. The 
Levantines are Franks and so called. They are 
born of the early adventurers from the time of the 
Crusades to that of the Crimean war. 


There is much to be said about the religious 
devotion of the Greeks in association with these 
monastic isles and structures. I know that they are 
reproached for their weakness and their indiffer- 
ence, when their empire was crumbling, before the 
Latin conquest, led by the Fourth Crusade under 
Dandolo and Baldwin. It is said by Mr. Pears, in 
his history, that while the Moslem was thundering 
at the walls of Stamboul and when the city was 
again about to succumb, that the Greeks of the 
hierarchy were disputing about non-essential arti- 
cles of their faith and doctrine. The empire of 
the Greek fell, but his faith lives. It will not 
be disputed but that he has an ineradicable love 
of liberty worthy of his lineage. Nor will he rest 
until the Hellenic race is enfranchised. But how 
can we reconcile the condition of his church and the 
Ottoman state in Turkey to-day ? The Greek 
rayak y as yet, is a strviteur of the Sultan. He 
wears the red fez. It is the badge of subjection. 
He seems to wear it willingly. He is ready to 
take office whether as Vali of a province or Cai- 
makam of a district, as minister of state or grand 
vizier, and when his sons are dubbed as Beys and 
Effendis they eagerly seek position and promotion 
in the offices of the government. His blue Fanar- 
iote blood runs through a line of linguists, states- 
men, diplomats and soldiers, celebrated as the 
favorite servants of the Ottoman Sultans. 


Nor is this more marvellous to those who read 
the stories of the Greek revolution than the or- 
thodoxy of the Greek Church, which in Turkey 
is content to be the subordinate imperium, with its 
Patriarch, under the Imperial Majesty enthroned 
at Yilcliz and supreme at the Sublime Porte ! 

Perhaps we do the race of Leonidas and De- 
mosthenes injustice. But after observing recent 
events in Turkey, it may be said that if the Greek 
people of Turkey five millions strong are wait- 
ing for the palingenesis, or new birth, they did not 
show it when Bulgaria raised the sword to cut the 
Gordian knot of the Berlin treaty, in September, 
1885. The Greek ray ah was then a helpful sub- 
ject of the Ottoman. 

The distinguishing feature between the Latin 
and the Greek churches should be understood. 
The very word " orthodox " presumes on the part of 
the Greek a fundamental, dogmatical difference. 
That difference lies in the rejection by the Greek 
of what is known as the double procession of the 
Holy Ghost. The Greek, and following it the 
Russian Church, repudiates as an interpolation 
the word filioque, in the creed of the Council of 
Constantinople of A.D. 381. The Greek went 
further and charged five heresies against the Lat- 
in. They are enumerated in the sentence of 
excommunication pronounced by the Patriarch 
against Pope Nicholas I. These heresies include : 


First. The doctrine that the Holy Ghost pro- 
ceeds from the Son as well as from the Father. 

Second. The practice of the Latin Church of 
fasting on the Sabbath. 

Third. Its sanction of the use of milk and food 
prepared from milk in the first week of Lent. 

Fourth. Its prohibition of priests from marrying. 

Fifth. Its withholding from presbyters and 
bishops the right to baptize persons with the Holy 

Sixth. The use of unleavened bread in the 

And as the sweeping conclusion, a repudiation 
of the papal claim of supremacy. 

Another thing may be said for the Greek 
Church. It never claimed, like the Latin, any 
measure of temporal authority ; only spiritual juris- 
diction. But this was more in theory than practice. 

If I were to seek for the glory of Greece, I 
would not go to the Acropolis ; nor to Thermopy- 
lae ; nor to the art of Phidias and Appelles ; nor to 
the ancient theatre or the modern chamber where 
Deleyani and Tricoupis debate ; but to their he- 
roic adherence to their orthodox faith. Whether 
that faith be pure or impure, whether its Protes- 
tantism is better than that of Wickliffe, Huss, 
Luther, or Calvin ; whether it was wise or not 
in its times of trouble, when Polycarp died, or 
Byzantium' fell it has been consistent and heroic 



even unto death, under tremendous stress of cir- 
cumstances, and amidst the fiercest fires of perse- 
cution. Five hundred years before Wickliffe 
seven hundred before Luther the Greeks main- 
tained against all comers their orthodoxy and 
primitive doctrines and early practices. The New 
Testament came to all Christians in their opulent 
tongue. The Nicene creed, that settled as early 
as A.D. 325, the Arian controversy as to the Trinity 
for all Christendom, came out of the first (Ecumen- 
ical synod of over 300 Greek bishops under the 
presidency of a Greek bishop of Spain. The 
Greek Church " safe-guarded the Niceno-Constan- 
tinopolitan, Ephesian-Chalcedonian symbol of the 
Trinity " in the form left by the fourth (Ecumenical 
synod. What contests it has had in its own 
bosom ! what struggles with Caliph and Pope ! 
what persecutions from Saracen ! what contempt 
from Protestantism ! But it has never yielded to 
the edicts of power, the force of arms or the flames 
of persecution. Enduring all the tribulations of 
martyrdom and the contumely of arrogance, it is 
still a living evidence of Christian faith ; and 
these isles have witnessed as they look out toward 
Chalcedon and Nicaea, the scholarship and devo- 
tion of an intrepid race of ecclesiastical heroes. 
If the orthodoxy of the Greek is a petrified re- 
ligion, it is a petrifaction which is monumental. 




ONE of the pleasures of our summer resort at 
Prinkipo, after donkey-riding, fishing, promenad- 
ing and inhaling the health-giving air, is to make 
trips to the adjacent mainland and isles, even to 
the ecclesiastical vicinage of Nicsea, and the his- 
toric places of Nicomedia. These latter places are 
eastward, upon the two extreme points of the Sea 
of Marmora. They are only separated from each 
other by a mountainous tongue of land, a tongue 
which speaks eloquently of a mighty past ! The 
voyage can be made in a sailing caique, in a 
launch, or by the post boat. It can be made in a 
day. It is hardly fifty miles to Ismid, or Nico- 
media. It is a longer trip to Nicaea, now known 
as Isnid, which can be better made via Broussa, 
when the brigands are asleep. Isnid is the 
famous locality where the Nicene creed and its 
controversies made war a chronic habit in the 
early days of Christianity. We are projecting 
several of these trips. 

This morning is dedicated to Halki. It is the 



Sabbath. No more beautiful day ever dawned 
in the East than that which ushers in this bright 
morning. The sea is of the deepest ultramarine 
blue with stretches of light in swaths that break 
its uniformity of color. A little breeze ruffles 
its surface. A few white-winged caiques move 
quietly, seeming to be more at rest than in mo- 
tion. The clouds make shadows over the moun- 
tains. The slopes of Asia, east and south, are 
magical in beauty. The roseate aurora of which 
Homer sings, hardly fades from the lustrous 
glory of the sky before we are off to Halki, the 
isle of copper. It lies just west of us, only a 
mile distant. It is within our view from Prinkipo. 
It has two prominent main-tops of mountains, each 
crowned with large yellow buildings. One is a 
Greek commercial college, and the other a Greek 
theological seminary. Our launch, the " Sunset," 
is ready. The Maltese captain and his crew 
are unusually affable. They are cultivating their 
best graces ; for on coming up from Stamboul 
yesterday we had a breezy time around the Moda 
Point, and our new flag blew away, and they 
looked as if they were under the patriotic ban. 
Alas! that this, the only emblem of the great 
Western republic now on these waters, should 
have had such an inglorious burial in the Pro- 
pontis. Who will find it? Who return it? 
Who will know it ? The other day, while stand- 



ing on the quay, as the " Kearsarge " first entered 
Prinkipo harbor, I heard a talk among the fisher- 
men about its " drapeau" They spoke in Greek ; 
but Pedro, my Dalmatian servant, translates. 
Said one : 

" The Greeks have colored their blue stripes, 
and changed them to red since their late fiasco 
with Turkey. It is a Greek ship." 

" Oh, no," said his companion ; " it is the tri- 
color of the French red, white and blue, mod- 
ified with the stars." 

" Nay, not so," said a third : " there is a new 
nation in Africa and it is sending out vessels. 
This is the flag of the Congo Confederation ! " 

No one dreams that a nation of sixty millions 
swear by this starry ensign, and that the " Kear- 
sarge" had vindicated it under the eye of antago- 
nizing British and curious French people, off 

This flag is beginning to be known here by its 
" Sunset " coloring, which Drake sang so vividly 
and which our launch illustrates eo nomine. So 
that when we reach the scala, or landing, we 
have a greeting from all the fishermen and other 
,ftt*/a-wags who adorn the quay. The steam is 
already up ! Away we dash for the Copper Isle ! 

Our little launch is filled with pots of flowers, 
and with our blue flag at the fore, signifying that 
the ministerial " Admiral," is on board, our 



old star-spangled banner at the stern, rather the 
worse for wear, and our gay scarlet cushions on 
deck, we make a sensation as we move over the 
sea not at all inglorious for our remote country. 

This island of Halki derives its name from the 
copper mines which in ancient times existed in 
it halkos (yatobs), ifl Greek meaning copper. The 
Turks call it Heibely, that is, bag-like ; because of 
the resemblance of the two hills on either side of 
its principal plain to saddle-bags thrown across 
the back of a horse. 

There is little to add to the description of the 
monasteries on this island given in " lies des 
Princes," excepting one or two slight errors to 
correct. The author of that book speaks of the 
personage who restored in 1680 the monastery of 
the Virgin Mary as " Nicosios Panagiotaki." It 
makes him a native of Scio, old Homer's isle ; 
whereas his proper name is Panagiotaki of Nico- 
sia, in Cyprus. The American reader will be 
happy to know that he was the great dragoman of 
the Sultan, when dragomans were more distin- 
guished and less common than at present. They 
will also be pleased to know that he was not from 
Scio, but from Cyprus. In the library of this 
monastery are to be found some fifty or sixty old 
manuscripts, mostly relating to ecclesiastical mat- 
ters, written on parchment and dating as far back 
as the sixth century. 



In a remote part of Halki lived, up to four years 
ago, an old monk. A certain mystery was at- 
tached to him. He was formerly a wealthy mer- 
chant and a highly respected member of society. 
One day, about thirty years ago, he left his house 
in Pera, in the morning as usual, to go to his busi- 
ness. He did not, however, make his appearance 
at his counting-house that day and did not return 
home in the evening, in fact, he did not return at 
all. Inquiries were made. About a month after- 
wards he was discovered in a retired spot of Halki. 
There he had built for himself with his own hands 
a wooden hut and was living in it, having assumed 
the garb of a monk. Neither the solicitations of 
his wife, children or friends could induce him to 
return to his home or explain his strange conduct. 
He sent them all away. He lived for nearly 
twenty-five years in that hut, subsisting on herbs 
and presents from charitable people. Money he 
would not accept, but bread and other perquisites 
he did not refuse. He spent his time in study 
and prayer. Of late years he was held in great 
veneration by the -inhabitants of the isle. When 
he retired to Halki, he left behind him an excel- 
lent business and a fortune of nearly $100,000. 

Why anticipate these incidents ? They make 
Halki interesting. My portfolio is crowded with 
memoranda of this historic and monastic isle. 
They concern its three monasteries, its commercial 


school, its natural position in the sea and its 
paradisiacal beauty and situation. What convents ! 
what tombs ! what buried patriarchs ! What 
biographies associated with the Paleologii John 
VIII. especially ! What ravages by fire and war! 
What grandeur of Greek dragomans, like the 
famous Nicosias Panagiotaki ! What funereal 
corteges by sea ! what Phanarotic ability ! These 
added to the natural beauties of the isle, transmute 
the copper of Halki into the golden ingots of his- 
tory and chivalry. 

The time is propitious to search for the secrets 
of Halki. Every page of Gibbon calls aloud. 
The round tower of the Genoese beckons ! A 
thousand years, eloquent of historic glory, almost 
forgotten by our new hemisphere years in which 
eunuchs, emperors, empresses, patriarchs, clerical 
and domestic, local and foreign wars, come and 
go like rainbows. These all invite us to study 
Halki ! 

We had arranged to have with us Admiral 
Woods Pasha. He is an English gentleman, 
formerly of the English navy. For the past 
twenty years he has been in the Turkish naval 
service, and has reached, for a young man, quite 
an exalted place in the service. For several 
years he was a professor in the naval school at 
Halki. Since the Turks have been threatened re- 
cently with disintegration, he is expected there 


again to lecture on explosives, torpedoes, and naval 
warfare generally. In these matters he is peer- 
less as a student and accomplished as a practical 
officer. To him Halki is an open book. For him 
all its pretty bays, nooks, and paths, its monu- 
ments and monasteries, its social, historic and per- 
sonal memories serve to illuminate the open vol- 
ume. His sister accompanies us. She speaks 
modern Greek, and interprets for us. The Admi- 
ral Pasha speaks Turkish like a native. 

We reach the isle. We land on the scala, at 
the door almost of the naval college. The marines 
perceive the Admiral, for he wears the undress 
uniform of his rank. They make salutation as 
we enter the gateway of the huge building. Like 
most of the monster buildings in the East it is 
painted yellow. It was used once as a cazerne or 
barracks. As a consequence there is a mosque 
near by. This is signified by the white minaret. 
It is vacation in the college now. We find, as is 
the case in all edifices public and private, in this 
country that the inside of the college and grounds 
is more inviting than the outside indicates. We 
find ourselves, under the convoy of a Turkish 
naval officer, within grounds laid out with great 
beauty, but in a neglected condition. Flowers, 
creepers, rare shrubbery, and trees, make a picture 
none the less interesting, because en ddshabille. 
The Admiral Pasha relates many tales of these 


grounds. These tales relate to the days of Mah- 
moud II., who massacred the Janissaries. That 
Sultan used to come here from the capital to have 
a revel, sending for the attractive beauties of the 
isle and making merry like an old feudal lord of 
the manor. His son, Abdul Mejid, was also accus- 
tomed to visit here for days together, but not in 
such a hilarious fashion. Abdul Mejid's son, Ab- 
dul Hamid, the present Sultan, has never been here. 

The grounds are in sad decay. The naval cus- 
todian tells us that this year a sum is set apart for 
the renovation of the grounds and buildings. 

We enter the building. There is nothing to 
note except large rooms with furniture once rich, 
now faded, and chandeliers that would do honor 
to Dolma Batche or Peterhoff. 

" Here is the chamber," says the Admiral, 
"where, on the visit of the allied fleets after the 
Crimean war, we gave the allied officers a grand 
fete and heavenly dance. Did you note these 
rude pillars unpainted on the first floor ? Well, 
I had them put under the floor to support the 
dancers. It was done in a few hours on a hasty 

"By you?" I ask. 

" By my orders ! The timber was prepared in 
Stamboul, brought down here in the afternoon, set 
up in style before night, and we danced over it till 
morning ! How's that ? " 


" I did not think, Admiral, that the Turks were 
so energetic." 

" Oh ! they are great on spirts, when the ' occa- 
sion sudden ' demands exertion." 

As it is vacation no students assemble to gratify 
their curiosity at our unexpected advent. When 
my Dalmatian, Pedro, signifies that he desires a 
half-dozen donkeys to be ready on our return from 
seeing the naval school, we are surrounded by a 
bevy of young Greeklings, Arabs I was about to 
say, of the town. They do not use suspenders ; 
sometimes they have a sash or belt like their 
elders. Their pantaloons may be said to be like a 
doubtful bill after a field day in Congress, full 
of amendments amendments in front and rear. 
Some are so much covered with patches as to 
be a " substitute," leaving only the title ! These 
gamins are not badly behaved. I am yet to see 
any bad boy among the Greeks. When Pedro 
indicates a wish for donkeys, a race begins for the 
remote donkey stand. It is Epaminondas against 
Lycurgus Eschines over again for the crown 
against Demosthenes. Around the corner come 
the gamins with four donkeys and a horse ! I 
mount the horse. The steed is fiery. Our sailor 
George and servant Pedro assist us to mount. 
Away we go ! We had become used to gaping, 
curious crowds while in Egypt ; so that when the 


housewives of the town rush to their windows to 
gaze at our procession, we are not embarrassed. 

" Which way shall we go?" I ask the Admiral. 
" Up the magnificent avenue of cypresses, which 
takes us to the oldest monastery ?" 

He responds : 

" Let us reserve that to the last." 

No carriages are allowed in Halki. The only 
locomotion is by foot or donkey. Some years ago 
the attempt was made to introduce carriages, as the 
roads are suitable for them ; but the very donkeys, 
together with their drivers, raised a thundering 
note of rebellion. The harness of the new regime 
of drivers was cut, the vehicles disordered, and the 
scheme abandoned. In Prinkipo the same sort 
of revolution failed. The private carriages tri- 
umphed, and there was no power in the don- 
key battalions against the gold of the Hellenic 

Halki plumes herself on her freedom from 
the aristocratic carriage. Her paths are paths 
of peace, and her ways are ways of pleasant- 
ness. In fact, there is a quietude and beauty 
about her solitary meandering walks that make 
her more attractive to the monastic or studious 
mind than her more fashionable sister isle. 

We take up our line of march to the lofty top of 
the mountain, where the theological seminary with 
its piles of yellow-painted stone and beautiful, 


ample grounds give the finest view of the islands 
and the two continents. 

I have said that it was difficult to find any litera- 
ture concerning these isles outside of the modern 
Greek. This I cannot read. But one capital 
object is always apparent without seeking other 
than tablets of stone set in mortar ; and that is 
the prevalence of religious enthusiasm as associ- 
ated with these isles. The monastery is ever up- 
permost. It was quite as convenient for the state, 
as a prison and refuge, as for the church to per- 
petuate Greek teaching and tenets. These tenets 
are especially saturated with the reclusive life. No 
place in the Eastern World, unless it be Mount 
Athos, is so fitted for the solitary musings and reflec- 
tions of the cenobite as these isles. There is no 
place so fitted, I may add, for the anchorite also. 
Both words are as Greek as the habits of the 
Greek fathers of the Christian Church. The word 
cenobite is from Kocub^ common ; and /&oc, life. It 
signifies a community, in opposition to the anchor- 
ite, who was a solitary hermit, from avd, back, 
and to Xoffee^ retire. 

This isle of Halki is the home of both of these 
recluses. This the sequel will show. It is an il- 
lustration of the excesses of that pious zeal, which 
led the early fathers to retire into caves and con- 
vents, as if in the very face of the teachings of 



Him whom all confess, who sought to be affable 
and social in his intercourse with mortals. 

The convent of St. Trinity, most conspicuous 
from land and sea, is the one within whose courts 
we now are. It used to graduate yearly two 
hundred students, for the Orthodox priesthood. 
The past year there were but sixty-seven grad- 
uates. Is this a sign of our utilitarian age, which 
is even invading this great theological centre of 
Oriental orthodoxy ? In comparison with the 
number of students of the commercial school, 
167, this showing is like Jean Paul Richter's 
father, poor but pious. It was not so formerly, 
in the days of Ottoman persecution, or before that, 
in the time of the Greek domination, with St. 
Sophia as the crowning edifice of the Christian 
world ! 

The convent we now visit is called in Greek 
Hagia Trias, or Trtacia. Its founder was one 
Photius. He is called illustrious ; but whether 
he be so or not, depends upon those who are in- 
terested in the vicissitudes of the Eastern Church. 
He was one of the learned patriarchs, a leading 
mind and conspicuous figure in the ninth century. 

The convent fell into ruins when the Turks 
took Constantinople. It was rebuilt in the six- 
teenth century by one Metrophanos. He, too, 
was a celebrity in Orthodox annals. He was the 
son of a tile-maker of a little town on the Bos- 


phorus, Haskeui. He became an archbishop of 
Cappadocia, and afterwards patriarch of Constan- 
tinople. He abdicated on a charge of simony 
against him. The story told of him is, that on 
retiring from the patriarchate, he received the 
two dioceses of Lamia and Chios. He sold the 
first and retired to the second ! He liked the 
thirty pieces. Still he was and is renowned and 
revered by his fellow-churchmen and by scholars. 
He was a crank on one subject. He was wild in 
his endeavors to recover the manuscripts which 
had escaped the Turkish conquest of 1453. He 
recovered many of them. A catalogue of his find- 
ings was found in 1572. After his death his col- 
lection was scattered. It is recorded that a 
learned diplomat, Ghislan de Busbecq, who first 
brought the lilac into Europe and who lived three 
months on Halki, in the sixteenth century, sent 
a cargo of wonderful manuscripts into Europe. 
I have been in the receipt of many letters from 
American scholars, anxious to know about many 
missing manuscripts. They are supposed to be 
yet concealed in the crypts of St. Sophia or in the 
dusty mosque alcoves in and around Stamboul. 
I have been besieged to bring them out of their 
stony tombs and mummy cerements. It may be 
proper here to say that all such attempts are 
vain. The lost books of the Greek classics, frag- 
ments of Livy or Pausanius may be exhumed ; but 


I6 7 

my efforts, like those of my predecessor, the au- 
thor of " Ben Hur, " have been in vain. Only a few 
treasures remain in the library of the Holy Trin- 
ity of Halki. If the precious classics were ever 
there, the changes and chances of time, war and 
fire have left of the " fund of Metrophanos," pre- 
cious few of the relics which he gathered with so 
much scholastic zealotry. 

The marks of fire are seen on the smirched 
foundation stones of the present edifice of Trinity. 
During the Greek revolution, in 1821, the con- 
vent was burned. It was again built by the pa- 
triarch Germain IV., in 1844; so that it is com- 
paratively new. The old building of Phocius was 
then changed into a theological seminary ; and so 
it remains. 

To reach the spacious paved courts of this 
Trinity convent we pass around and up the 
mountain, through shady woods, whose grounds 
are not cumbered, like those of Prinkipo, with 
rocks. When you attain the summit you have the 
finest prospect of sea, sky, isle and continent I 
have ever witnessed. From the promontory you 
may not only gaze down into the Swiss vales of 
the isle, but off into the shores of Asia and Eu- 
rope. The great city of Constantinople seems to 
be nearer and more resplendent in dome and min- 
aret than from our villa at Prinkipo. From these 
terraces of Trinity the mountains of the horizon, 


seen under their hazy attire, are lit up at sunset 
with a glow of russet, pink, purple and gold which 
would be anything but conducive to the study of 
Greek or metaphysics. At Naples, when evening 
paints her colors upon the sea and the isles of the 
bay and in the very lustre of the air, one must 
close the shutters, in order to think, read and 
write. Is it not a marvel how the students of 
these isles can gaze into recondite lore when 
nature spreads for the eye such an illuminated vol- 
ume of the good and beautiful? 

After some inquiry we find a priest to show us 
the inside of Trinity. He appears. He is of bare 
head, of good face, but as dumb as an oyster. 
Even our fair dragoman, Admiral Wood's sister, 
could not coax much information from him. The 
fact is, that he did not know as much as we did about 
the convent and its history.^ However, as he was 
unlocking the church door, I observe over its 
portals the sign of the Trinity, three in one a tri- 
angle, with an eye in the centre, symbolic of the 
eternal All-seeing One. At each angle is the 
initial of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Around 
this triangle is a radiant golden glory. Some 
Greek sentences below tell when the church was 
rebuilt and by whom. The words are of new 
Greek and unknown to us. On either side 
are other emblems. One is that of an open book 
or tablet of stone. It is the law. On the other 



side is a golden cup with a cross above it. It is 
the sacred chalice or sacrament. In the vestibule 
of the church is a strange picture. It is as old as 
these emblems. It is black with the smoke of a 
million candles burned from the ninth century to 
the time of the destruction of the church. It 
represents three angels entertained at a feast. It 
is the Annunciation, I suppose. Within the 
church are the same pictures which are seen in all 
Greek churches, and which I have seen so often in 
Russia and in Constantinople. They consist of 
biblical scenes, from old chaos and the creation 
down to the birth of the Saviour. In these pict- 
ures you will see reproduced in horrid art the 
Grecian features. The nose is prominent. In the 
vestibule are the tombs of many patriarchs. We 
are led to believe that one worn smooth by con- 
stant walking over it is that of Phocius. But in 
the American mind it is of little moment who 
is Phocius to it or it to Phocius. Only the 
carved skeleton of old Phocius is seen. * The 
only living things about the convent are to be 
found in the library. Here are books ; and John 
Milton says that a book is a most reasonable 
creature. " It is a life beyond life, an immortality 
rather than a life." 

Let us to the library. There we are joined 
by a director of the college. He is arrayed in a 


priestly stole, and his head is clad with the cylindri- 
cal hat, the rim at its crown. He has abjured 
the pendant veil from the hat for this occasion. 
But like the typidal Greek priest, he has a black 
beard. His hair, too, is long and curls. It is 
parted in the middle, and neatly brushed behind 
the ear. He is courteous, and is anxious to give 
us all the satisfaction he can. He presents us to 
the librarian. Ah! I must not forget him! His 
name is Constantine. He has been here seven- 
teen years. He is seventy years old, and gray 
where he is not bald. He is not a ready, oral lin- 
guist, but here our fair dragoman comes to the 
front. We rejoice for an hour among these im- 
mortals of the alcove. The librarian shows us 
his catalogue. He shows us books in fourteen 
languages. Many of them are quite old and Ori- 
ental. He displays many old manuscripts in 
Greek. One Testament is 1200 years of age. It 
is on illuminated parchment. It looks old and 
tired. % The library smacks a little of the French 
Revolution, or of the encyclopedists of France. 
It must have come out of freedom of the Greek 
mind, aroused by the excitements at the end of 
the last century. There is a goodly company of 
mathematicians in one alcove ; but most of the 
books are upon logic. Others pertain to "the 

I asked Constantine : " Have you no novels 

IN THE L1BRAR Y. j - 1 

here? Do your students never read fiction?" 

He colors a little as he replies : 

" I read all the time, mostly novels. It would 
be tiresome here else. One of the patriarchs died, 
and his niece brought us quite a lot of novels from 
his library. The students don't read them." 

" How many students graduated this year?" I 

" Only eight, and only six of these are to be 
priests ! It is not as it was." He sighs an ortho- 
dox sigh, and resumes. 

" Ah ! we have the same old banquet when the 
young men go out into the world. If any of them 
do not become clergymen, they have to pay ^15 
extra for each year that they have studied here." 

Woods Pasha is rummaging among the old 
books. He finds a history of the Sultans in Eng- 
lish. It is of the year 1610. It is full of rare 
wood-cut portraits. He calls me to him. He 
reads the first sentence. 

"See ! Excellence ! what a race is here ! What 
an author ! He derives the Turkish race from the 
Tenori (Turkish) or Phoenicians the ancestors of 
Carthage the soldiers of Hamilcar, Hanno, Han- 
nibal and Hasdrubal, and the merchant princes 
of Carthage ! Is not such a derivation almost 
comical ? " 

I recognize the big volume. It is the counter- 
part of one presented me by Senator Wagstaff, of 



New York, just before I left that city on my 
mission. It came over with his family from Eng- 
land some 200 years ago ! 

I am all interested in the volume. The ad- 
miral resumes 

" This volume goes on to say that it is a marvel 
that from so small a beginning such a power as 
that of the Ottoman developed, at which the 
world grows pallid " 

" Ah, my dear Admiral, that was written in 
A.D. 1610." 

But the admiral grows intensely interested. 
He asks the librarian : 

" If I should want to read or borrow this book, 
can I have the privilege ? " 

" Yes," said Constantine, " come a-, any time- 
even at midnight, and you are welcome to all we 

I said to the gentle bookworm : 

" I wonder you Greek folk never care in your 
grand ambition to rival the wandering Ulysses, and 
in your persecutions and trials here seek an Odys- 
sey from the Orient, to America ! " 

" Ah ! Excellence ! " said he, " I should have 
gone there fifty years ago. It is now too late. I 
must lay my bones here." 

Then I pondered on a glimpse I had caught of 
a vagrant sentence in an open volume of the 
library. It was from Dr. Arnold. He says, in his 


comprehensive way, that on the destruction of the 
Athenian fleet in the harbor of Syracuse, B.C. 413, 
depended the fate of the world. But for the vic- 
tory of Rome, the energies of Greece during the 
next eventful century would have found their 
field in the West no less than in the East ; and 
then Greece, and not Rome, might have conquered 
Carthage. Greek, instead of Latin, might have 
been at this day the principal element of the lan- 
guage of Spain, of France and of Italy ; and the 
laws of Athens rather than of Rome might be the 
foundation of the law of the civilized world. 
Syracuse was a breakwater which God's provi- 
dence raised up to protect the yet immatured 
strength of Rome ! The learned teacher of 
Rugby might have carried his supposition far- 
ther, and hung on his hypothesis the possible con- 
dition of the Christian religion with a patriarch 
instead of a pope, giving the canons of faith to 
the Latin races of the world ! These early Greek 
fathers of the church, who recognized the great 
white Slavonic czar as the chief father of their 
religion, might now be giving ecclesiastical and 
civil law to the majority of civilized nations ! 

There is a fountain in the stony court under 
the broad shade tree. The antique church, the 
monks* apartments, and the patriarch's chamber, 
the scene of many a wedding festival, these 
with a prospective marriage ceremony, are in 


reserve for another visit, for we shall go again to 
the theologic college to drink in at sunset its won- 
derful prospect toward the north where Stamboul 
shines afar. 

We now take a path to the south-western por- 
tion of the isle, where the commercial college sits 
serene at the top of another mountain. There 
are no carriages on the isle, and yet the roads up 
through the pine groves are as substantial, wide 
and clean as if they were in the Bois de Boulogne. 
Each of the pine trees is a picture, and the 
ground beneath them, carpeted with the needles 
and cones, makes the forests here much more eli- 
gible for picnics and invalids than the forests of 
Prinkipo. In fact, the lay of the land, the winding 
roads and by-paths, the seats for the pedestrian 
and lounger, and the general beauty, surpass our 
more pretentious isle. 

We arrive at the top of the mountain of, the 
commercial school. Here are pretty gardens. 
Here, too> is a tomb of much elegance. It is a 
tomb of a patriarch of the Orthodox Greek 
Church. There is a tomb of an English minister 
of Queen Bess's time. He fought for one of the 
Sultans in the Danubian country. The college 
is semi-religious, although commercial. Soon we 
are joined by one of its directors, and by the jani- 
tor and several of his servants. It is vacation. 
The students are absent. We enter the court- 


yard and dismount. A priest with a pleasant 
beaming smile not the kind of beam referred to in 
the Scripture brings out a big key, and the an- 
cient church is opened. There is no troublesome 
unshoeing or slipping, as when we enter a 
mosque. It is a little church and quite young. 
It is only 800 years old. It is black with age and 
the soot of burning candles. All the available 
space in the two apartments and even in the little 
altar room is filled with images of saints. One 
saint twice produced, Saint Macarius, has a long 
white beard that touches his sandals. Like all 
images in the Greek churches, these pictures, 
hands and all, are covered with either gold or sil- 
ver or some metallic imitation. The faces are not 
covered. They look out of the shiny aureoles. 
Some rare relics are here, and exceptionally old 
books, but the antique effect is tawdry. The 
church is as neat as it can be in its dress of lace 
and gold. There are carved seats, which look old 
in the dim religious colored light from windows of 
antique style. There is a vitriol lamp burning 
before the Virgin. Faded flowers, silver chains, 
crucifixes, volumes of the Scriptures, and chants, 
these give a mysterious awe to this antique 
edifice hid away in the mountains, which once 
knew and felt the power of the great Greek 
hierarchy and empire of the East. Tapers 
by the score are piled up on a table. There is 


nothing, however, musty in the little pent-up edi- 
fice, for the smell of myrtle or pine gives a deli- 
cious sweetness. 

As Pedro talks modern Greek like a native, be- 
ing born on the borders of Epirus, we communi- 
cate easily with the priest. We find him not only 
a healthy and hirsute person, of fine physique and 
pleasant manners, but of unusual intelligence as to 
his own religion. 

The director gallants us to the long salle a 
manger and dormitory. These accommodate 167 
students, and are as neat as can be. We visit the 
library. It did not interest. It was made up of 
Greek and French books. The latter are of the 
age of the French Revolution or before. Rousseau 
lies quietly beside Buffon : the one a beast and the 
other a writer about beasts. Obsolete literature is 
plentiful. We glance at a globe which represents the 
world, including our United Colonies in the time 
of John Smith of Virginia. Then we enter a long 
corridor, decorated with sketches of ancient Greeks, 
Homeric heroes and fathers of the church. We 
seek the open air, feeling as if we had been buried. 

Again we mount our donkeys. Sending off one 
of the gamins to order our launch, we go round 
the isle to the little bay in front of the college, 
down to the water side. There we find a restau- 
rant and garden. The proprietor gives us lemon- 
ade and coffee, and a bouquet for " Madame." 


We remount to take a path through the forests to 
a little old church under ground, cut in the rocks. 
It is the same kind of old church as the rest, only 
with a different name. This is called " The 
Holy Spirit." The Greeks always have a 
restaurant or tavern near their religious home, just 
as the Moslem has a mosque near his barracks, 
or a fountain near his mosque. 

We do not find any person taking care of this 
" little church round the corner" of the white cliff, 
where we venture. We are free to go upon the 
premises. Here is a bed out in the air, and 
another in a little cave near the church. Fuel is 
gathered from the pine trees we beg pardon, not 
"from," but " under" them ; for it is forbidden to 
take the cones from the trees, only those that fall 
are taken. Charcoal is already binned for the 
winter. Could a more secluded spot be found on 
this uninhabited part of the isle ? On the other 
side more than a thousand people live. There the 
streets are roomy and nice. The town reminds 
one of a town in Italy or Spain, except that the 
houses are better and more comfortable. They are 
of wood. Halki is a sort of rival of Prinkipo as a 
health and summer resort ; but the best class live 
in Prinkipo. The rich people and grand villas are 
in Prinkipo. I cannot help but conclude that 
Halki has more natural beauty of site, forest and 
shrubbery. Owing to the scholastic and other 



associations of Halki, there is more interest for the 
Greek on this isle. When one sees the remnant 
of this grand race, lifting up still, though under 
adverse institutions and circumstances, the banner 
of the cross, one cannot help pondering upon a his- 
tory that began with the heroes of Troy, and even 
yet listens delightedly to the oratory of Delyani 
and Tricoupis under the shadow of the Acropolis. 
Our next visit is to the church of St. George. 
It is reached through the cypress avenues, as 
the picture represents. St. George seems to be a 
favorite with the Greeks, especially in these isles. 
The king of Greece is popular, not only because 
he is an amiable and equitable ruler, but because his 
name is George. In a great many churches this 
saint, who is of Cappadocia and has a marvellous his- 
tory, is always pictured as slaying the dragon. In 
the painting at St. George's monastery and church 
in Halki, .he is painted as rescuing a damsel in dis- 
tress from the fangs of the monster. The artist 
has discreetly and graphically made the dragon 
climb half way up the haunches of the saint's gray 
charger, and has so arranged the dragon that 
George runs his spear into his opened jaws' and 
clear through the animal, making the weapon truly 
lethal. It is not the pictures of this church that 
allure the visitor, although there are in the new 
church dozens of pictures of saints of the best 
Russian art. They are presents from Russia. 


But the situation is the attraction. The long dou- 
ble alley of cypresses, three deep, leads the pleased 
traveller up to the monastery. The main building 
is on a precipitous bluff of rocks. From its ter- 
races and under its cypresses Prinkipo is in full 
and near view. It looks off to the east and south. 
St. George monastery, too, has a history, but 
there is not so much of antiquity or tradition about 
it to give smirch to its saints or a dim religious 
light to its richly dight windows. It is rich, how- 
ever, in this world's goods. It is the proprietor of 
some twenty houses in a long row upon the terrace, 
above the cypresses. These it rents. In the Mid- 
dle Ages it was connected with the church of 
Chalcedon. Now, where is, or was, Chalcedon ? 
It is on the way to Constantinople, which we shall 
soon travel in another chapter. All these scenes 
make us moralize upon events which carry us 
back to the first centuries of the Christian religion. 




THERE is not much to be seen by the eye upon 
the island of Antigone. But its classic name 
gives it a flavor of the Greek, while its three 
monasteries have a rare, eventful history. The isl- 
and was formerly called " Panormos," which 
means in Greek " a harbor safe on all sides." 
The Turks call it " Bourgas-Ada," the Island of the 
Fortress, owing to an ancient fortress which ex- 
isted there, but of which there is no trace now. 

The monastery of the Transfiguration is on the 
summit of the highest hill of this island. It was 
pulled down by order of the Sultan Murat IV. in 
1 720, in consequence of a procession with torches 
which, according to ancient custom, went round 
the monastery on the night of Good Friday in 
that year. The Turks, seeing the lights and the 
commotion from across at Kadikeui, became 
alarmed. They demanded and obtained an edict 
from the Sultan that the monastery should be razed 
to the ground. Contrary to what the author of " lies 
des Princes " says, there are plenty of ruins and 

1 80 



monuments connected with the monastery remain- 
ing, and even tombs of exiled princes with the 
bones carefully preserved. The author of " lies 
des Princes " falls also into an unpardonable error 
regarding the little island of Pita, which he places 
between Halki and Prinkipo. He cannot surely 
have visited the islands at all or else he would 
have known that Pita is just in front of Antigone. 
It helps immensely to make the little harbor of 
that island a safe retreat. Pita is uninhab- 
ited and has no interest whatever attaching to 
it, except an ancient cistern with a quaintly carved 
pillar in the middle. This shows that in former 
times the isle was inhabited. 

Antigone is a melancholy isle compared with 
Halki and Prinkipo. Is it because so lugubri- 
ously named ? Poor Antigone, the forerunner 
of Juliet even as Haemon, her betrothed, was the 
antitype of Romeo ; for did she not sacrifice her- 
self when entombed alive, and her lover kill 
himself by her corpse ? 

Every isle of Greece thus perpetuates some in- 
vention or myth in which the tragic element 
plays its part. The birds of Antigone circle all 
about us, then fly off, organize into companies and 
battalions and return to us with a wail which 
Greek fancy might translate into some woful song. 

Upon the sides of the mountains, beyond the 
cliffs, are lanes through the shubbery lanes for 


the goat and sheep. As we pass beyond the 
point a wreck is seen with one mast standing. 
The proofs are written in the chaotic rocks of 
the shore, of how earthquake and tempest have 
wounded and shaken the isle. The colors of the 
rocks are various, some black as the porphyry of 
upper Egypt, some brownish-red as the iron can 
paint them, and some as white as snow. 

As we regard it a duty to take possession, 
pedis possessio, of each one of these princely ' 
isles, we array our boat in greenery and flowers, 
and start upon this September morning for An- 
tigone. The wind is fresh. The curl of the 
lilies upon the blue sea gives us warning ; but as 
the wind, whose nautical moods I study, is not 
from the south, we venture over the two miles 
of azure. Before we turn the point of Halki, 
the ferry from the city steams around that rocky 
isle. A wave of a handkerchief from some one 
on board indicates that our capoudji (messenger) 
from the Legation is on board. As business is 
always before diversion, we whisk our launch 
around and pursue the steamer into the harbor 
of Halki. Our Capitano must have had some- 
thing aboard besides his esprit de corps, for he 
jams our launch "Sunset" against the side of 
the big boat, until my better half begins to forget 
her duty as passenger and speaks words of com- 
mand in several dialects at once ; and my Dalma- 



tian serviteur, Pedro, regains his profane tongue, 
which is Italian. We soon capture our mail- 
bag and messenger. We read our letters from 
home, fresh out of the pouch, and then, ho ! for 
Antigone ! 

The weather is a little hazy, partaking some- 
thing of the captain's condition. We cannot see 
the distant mountains of Asia except in dim 
outline, but the sun shines on the minaretted 
and domed glories of Stamboul ; and that is 
enough. Antigone has quite a population. They 
are nearly all, if not all, out on the pier to 
greet our strange flag ; but as they charge a 
mejidie (or dollar) if we stop at the pier more than 
five minutes, the Captain makes money by hailing 
a caique at half that sum. We land in that 
little frail craft and in a tossing sea. The crowd 
is attracted by our flag and the infrequency of 
such a vessel at the port of Antigone. Once this 
was quite a busy commercial place. The 
heavy stone walls of the harbor, and the solid 
walls of the villas, red and black with iron-rust, in- 
dicate that formerly here was a substantial people. 
The drives are all for donkeys ; no carnages are 
allowed. But we dispense with donkeys, and are 
content to saunter upon the terraces, where we 
are observed by such members of the families of 
the town as had not appeared on the quay to re- 
ceive us. Many of the houses have elegant ter- 

1 84 


raced gardens. Some of the houses are as quaint 
as those of old Amsterdam, with points, angles, ga- 
bles and balconies overhanging the street. After 
some observation of the town and a glance at the 
crowning monastery we re-embark, not without 
a transient souvenir of the isle. This consists of 
a huge watermelon, upon whose sides the Greek 
artistic vender has made two drawings by scrap- 
ing the green rind. The first sketch is plain 
enough to decipher ; but can the reader guess 
what the other one is. It is a fire-engine, such 
as the pompiers of the towns and cities of the 
East regard as the refinement of inventive art. It 
is to be regretted that I cannot reproduce the 
picture here. 

Fires are very frequent in Constantinople and 
its adjacent villages. The structures are wooden, 
dry and frail. The streets are narrow, and 
therefore the fires are very destructive. There is 
much smoking of tobacco by the Turk. There is 
such a general use of charcoal and braziers, such a 
general carelessness in using the cigarette and 
ch^bouq^^,e, together with the matted floors that 
fires are frequent. The last thing that I saw 
before I left Constantinople was the practice of 
the fire brigade under the tuition of their chief. 
He is a Hungarian nobleman. He is providing 
modern means to put out fires, especially in Pera. 
The little engines, a caricature of which suggests 


I8 5 

these incidents and which the pompiers carry 
along with such hideous cries, are not bigger than 
the ordinary engines which we have to water our 
garden at home. They have but a single chamber. 
This is about eight inches long by three or four in 
diameter. They seem rather to nourish a fire. 
The firemen themselves are said to be selected for 
personal strength and activity, I should say for 
lung force. On their heads they wear a broad 
cap. They are naked to their waists. 

Do you ask how is the alarm of fire given ? 

I answer : Upon the elevated Seraskierate 
tower of the War Office in Stamboul there is a 
guard who watches. When a fire occurs, he 
beats a big drum, and shouts wildly, " Wang gin 
var" which, literally interpreted, means, " A fire 
there is ! " This assembles the firemen. It 
alarms the people. The tower of Galata is also 
used for the same purpose on the other side of 
the Golden Horn. If it be in daylight flags are 
flaunted from the tops of these towers, indicating 
by their color and arrangement where the fire is, 
and by night other signals are used for this pur- 

Before sailing homeward to Prinkipo we may at 
least glance at, if not land upon, Proti. Proti is 
the first, as the word signifies and as the map 
shows, of the nine isles on the way from Con- 
stantinople. It is by no means the last of the nine 


in historic and monastic interest. Its houses are 
few and scattered. But one tree decorates its 
summit. A few others surround a house. The 
sides of the isle looking toward the city are scarred 
by wave and storm. It is not so attractive nor so 
much frequented as the sister isles of Halki, Anti- 
gone and Prinkipo. Whether it be fire, or goats, 
or man, or tariffs, its forests are gone. Much of 
its beauty and all of its productiveness have de- 
parted. How often have we to remark this fact in 
the Orient ! Dr. Stanley has said the same on the 
aspect of Palestine. He refutes the presumption 
of its limited resources in ancient days, by its 
present depressed and desolate state. But doubt- 
less the aspect and advantages of the land have 
greatly changed. So it is with all these lands, in- 
cluding the Greek isles and the Asian mainland. 
Asia Minor and Syria could once have brought forth 
ten times their present product and have supported 
ten times as many as their present population. 
This sterility involves the question always asked in 
the Orient : " Can these calcined and stony places 
ever have been a land flowing with milk and 

Proti is associated with Halki in several pretty 
narratives. It once had another name. Greek 
and Turkish nomenclature for places always 
represent some sensible object. Some of the 
names are quite poetical, others quite common- 


I8 7 

place. This isle of Proti appears to have been 
formerly styled also " Acconce " or " Acconitis," 
from the quantity of whetstone which was once 
to be found on it, the Greek word accona 
(Akovrj) meaning whetstone. By the Turks it 
is called " Khinali Ada," Reddish Island. Proti 
had formerly a fine harbor and populous village 
on its eastern side, but they have disappeared. 
Only a few remnants of ruins are left, among 
which are two large-sized cisterns of the Byzan- 
tine period. These indicate the spot where the 
old village was situated. The harbor has been 
washed away by the sea. The present village 
occupies quite a different site. 

There were three monasteries on this island. 
The smallest of these monasteries was that built 
by the Anatolian, General Vardane. It was de- 
stroyed on the 2Oth of February, 1807, by the 
British fleet under Admiral Sir John Duckworth 
and Rear-Admiral Lewis. That fleet comprised 
ten men-of-war. Among them may be mentioned 
the two-decker, "-Endymion," and the " Ajax" of 
74 guns. The latter caught fire accidentally and 
was entirely destroyed. After forcing the Straits 
of the Dardenelles and destroying part of the 
Turkish fleet, which was lying at Gallipolis, this 
fleet came and anchored in the harbor of Proti. 
There it remained eleven days. The Turks, in 
order to prevent the English from getting water 


and fuel from the island, sent a small detach- 
ment of sixty determined men from Kadikeui, 
who, after some difficulty, succeeded in landing 
and entrenching themselves in the monastery. 
The English landed a party and attacked the 
monastery to which they finally set fire. The 
Turks, driven from their stronghold, offered a fierce 
resistance. After killing a considerable number, 
they at last drove the English out of the isle, and 
before the latter could return in stronger force, the 
Turkish detachment was saved from its perilous 
situation by the inhabitants of Halki, who came in 
their caiques at night and took off the Turks. In 
recompense for this service and their bravery, the 
Halkiotes were granted by the then Sultan, Selim, 
exemption from taxes, a privilege which they con- 
tinue to enjoy up to the present time. 



FROM any eminence in Constantinople, upon a 
clear day, two isolated rocks apparently leap out 
of the Sea of Marmora the classic Propontis. 
But they are not merely rocks. Oxia, in Greek, 
means "late in the day," or "Sunset." It is thus 
named because the sun lingers last on its prom- 
inence. From one point it looks like the pyra- 
mid of Ghizi. We have not, yet been upon it, but 
we have been around it. It is not inhabited ex- 
cept by snakes. Our visit is, therefore, reserved. 
But we have accomplished the other little isle, 
Plati. It is the Oriental custom to name locali- 
ties from some concrete quality, association, or ob- 
ject. What Plati means in Greek I can easily sur- 
mise. Although it is some 300 feet above the sea 
level, still it is a plateau. It can be cultivated 
nearly over its whole area, which is at least 150 
acres. The name is derived from the Greek word 
TrAdTy, which means a flat or broad surface. It is 
the same root for our word plain, or plaza, or 



plat. Plati is due west from Prinkipo and due 
south from Constantinople. It is some fifteen 
miles from the city. 

These twin warders of the archipelago Oxia 
and Plati are conspicuous figures in the sea. 
They have each an individuality, not merely phys- 
ically, but strategetically. The power, whether 
Greek or Turkish, that held Constantinople, used 
them as sentinels to warn of the approach of the 
Genoese or knightly enemy. Their isolation made 
them capital prisons. Within their horrid caves, 
now used for cisterns, the convict was immured 
without hope. Sometimes the loose and aban- 
doned visited them for the worst purposes of lust 
and escapades of deviltry. Pirates sometimes con- 
cealed themselves there. But during the Greek 
rule, the Greek Church erected monasteries up- 
on them. The remains of these are still seen 
upon both islands. There was a church, or oratory, 
on Plati. Its debris is found near the castle by 
the sea. Several times, when the dogs of the big 
city became obstreperous, or the horses sick, the 
former were deported to the rocky and barren 
islet of Oxia, and the horses there found their 
paradise. In the place where the hermits were 
once established, civilization gave eternal rest to 
the animal creation. Sometimes these isles were 
used as a target for the practice of the Ottoman 
naval guns. 


The oubliettes, or dungeons, were once the 
scene of a singular freak of justice. Two eminent 
patricians had a quarrel. One was a Greek, Basil 
Bardas ; the other a Roman, Scliros. They 
fought the first duel recorded in the Greek annals. 
The story runs that the Emperor Constantine VII. 
exiled them one to Oxia, and the other to Plati. 
They were consoled, however ; for, as by a cruel 
irony, they were placed near each other, and one 
suffered like the other ! Constantine ordered that 
their eyes should be put out. It was the pleasant 
pastime of these Greek rulers to burn out the 
eyes. But on this occasion the Plati prisoner es- 
caped, and there was no adequate compensation. 

These isles have associations more interesting 
to Americans than those which are philologic, his- 
toric, geologic, or aesthetic. Plati is best known 
as the isle of Sir Henry Lytton Bulwer. The dis- 
tinguished diplomat came to Turkey after his ser- 
vice at Washington as English minister. He 
followed here Sir Stratford Canning, the greatest 
of the English ambassadors. How Sir Henry 
obtained this isle and what he did with it, and what 
associations cluster about it in connection with his 
name, would furnish a strange, eventful history. 
These concern the biography and eccentricities of 
the man and the minister, as well as the qualities 
and condition of the isle itself. 

There are those in Washington who remember 


Sir Henry. The Clayton-Bulwer treaty was a fact 
of his accomplishment. Scarcely any public man, 
from Judge Douglas's time to the present, but has 
taken a hand in the discussion of this treaty and 
its obnoxious clause so inimical to certain Isth- 
mian interests and ambitions of the United States. 
Among the rest, in an humble way, the writer 
hereof made a report on April 16, 1880, in favor 
of its abrogation. The report developed some 
matters not generally known. It concerned the 
Monroe doctrine and an interoceanic ship canal. 
The President had urged in his message the policy 
of the canal being under American control. He 
urged the necessity of such control as a part of 
the guardianship of our coast line. Although 
New Granada in the railroad franchise of 1846, 
and Nicaragua in the Hise treaty of 1849, recog- 
nized the American protectorate, the latter treaty 
was not ratified because of Mr. Clayton's alarm 
lest a collision with Great Britain would follow. 
The Mosquito king played its little, buzzing, 
stinging part. Mr. Clayton disavowed the Hise 
treaty to the English minister, Crampton ; but 
begged the English not to allow us to appear 
cowardly by the abandonment of " great and splen- 
did advantages." Mr. Clayton begged England 
to give up her Mosquito protectorate and share 
with us the authority over the transit. In this 
awkward way the negotiations proceeded until 


April 19, 1850, when the partnership with Great 
Britain was consummated. This was done under 
the adroit management of Sir Henry Bulwer. 
Both parties agreed never "to erect or maintain 
any fortifications commanding or in the vicinity of 
any ship canal, or to occupy, or fortify, or assume 
or exercise any dominion over Nicaragua, Costa 
Rica, the Mosquito coast, or any part of Central 

England often violated this treaty. But why 
particularize ? It is a long story, in which such 
statesmen as Cass and Buchanan, Clarendon and 
Napier, Ousley and Dallas, Clayton and Bulwer, 
and recently Clarendon, Blaine, and Frelinghuy- 
sen have figured, and always with an inconsequen- 
tial result for us. The subtle crystallization which 
Sir Henry Bulwer produced remains like a wall of 
adamant across the line of our policy and the 
Isthmus. Our puny statesmen have tilted in vain 
against this wall with their javelins of straw. 

The English employ such trained diplomatists 
as Bulwer the world around. But his chicanery 
and selfishness overtook him at last. His Nemesis 
was the genius of Plati. The rock .upon which 
his career foundered was this islet to which the 
prow of our little launch is turned. 

Sir Henry has left various impressions here 
upon those who knew him. I.was not in Congress 
when the treaty was made. I do not remember 


i 9 4 


ever to have seen him at Washington. He is 
described as a most engaging and charming gen- 
tleman. In social etiquette and style he had no 
peer. He was tall and thin in person. His nose 
was hooked and peaked ; his face was long and 
grave ; his eye was like a flash of lightning ; his 
upper teeth protruded, and his mouth was set a 
little awry. Despite these gauckeries he was not 
unhandsome. I fancy that he was not unlike his 
elder brother, the great novelist. In conversation 
he was unrivalled. He was a capital raconteur. 
He liked to emit startling paradoxes. He was an 
admirable speaker. Whether he was sincere or 
not, he made all seek his society and like him. 
His voice was measured, low, musical, and per- 
suasive. He was most at home in intrigue. In 
this he displayed the timbre of his character. He 
went into a diplomatic contest con amore, vizor up 
and lance pointed. He generally pierced the 
armor of his antagonist. He usually won, for he 
did not disdain to use all the arts known to the 
old style diplomacy, which he held was fast fading 
away. Altogether he is described to me by the 
physician who attended him and by the captain of 
his yacht as a most extraordinary and fascinating 
man, but replete with whims, of which the owner- 
ship of this isle is by some accounted one of the 
most peculiar. 

He was ambassador in the time of Abdul Mejid, 


whom I remember seeing on my trip here in 1851. 
No more worthy Sultan, unless I except his son, 
the present Sultan, Abdul Hamid II., ever did 
more for the reform of his Government or made 
more sacrifices for the advancement of civilization. 
He is known in the East as the Haroun al Raschid 
of modern times. Sir Henry Bulwer had, there- 
fore, many opportunities of aiding effectually in 
the regeneration of the East. 

Sir Henry conquered the good-will of this Sul- 
tan of happy memory, by some special efforts 
about the succession in Egypt. As a consequence, 
or reward, the Khedive of Egypt made him a gift of 
this isle. He began its improvement. He erected 
the two castles one on the shore and the other on 
the summit. It is said that they were intended as 
miniatures of his own ancestral home at Knebs- 
worth, England. He had another whim. He 
thought to raise cattle on the island. In fact, he 
stocked it with some cattle of the rarest breed. 
A storm of a fortnight, before the days of steam 
ferries here, prevented adequate provender from 
reaching the isle. The cattle perished and so did 
the enterprise. He seldom lived on the island. 
His wife visited it frequently, but only to remain 
a short time. Sometimes with friends he stayed 
over night and had a good time, but his health 
was infirm. He could not follow very far a cer- 
tain jocund disposition without hurt to his physical 



system. He was odd about his health. His doctor 
tells me that he saw him every day for four years, 
and that he used to take a different pill at the end 
of each dish at his meals. It was one of his ca- 
prices to have frequent imaginary ills and pills. It 
was the remark of Guizot about him, that "if Bul- 
wer were ill, look out ! Mischief was sure to fol- 
low his pills." Guizot had reference to Bulwer's 
tact at Madrid in the matter of the Spanish mar- 
riage of the Duke de Montpensier, son of Louis Phil- 
ippe. Sir Henry must have had a bad spell about 
the time he inveigled Mr. Clayton to sign away an 
American protectorate over the Isthmian ways. 

How he used to chuckle over his diplomatic 
triumphs ! Some of them were won in Roumania 
along with Halil Pacha, a festive companion and 
a good fellow, a colleague of Bulwer in Roumania. 
How he used to laugh over his circumvention of 
Mr. Clayton ! These are a part of the traditions 
and gossip yet at Pera, which is called the ant-hill 
of politics. 

He had curious characteristics. Sometimes it 
was thought that he was mean in money matters ; 
but the owner of our launch, Mr. Jones, who 
brought out a steam yacht for him from England, 
and used to ship him about these isles and the 
Bosphorus, tells me that at times he was extrava- 
gantly and unexpectedly generous. He was often 
timorous of society. . He would hide from his em- 


bassy and friends for weeks at a time. It was 
his whim or his respite. His doctor says that 
once, while attending him at Cairo, he insisted 
on spending three weeks with an old English 
farmer out of that city, where, amid the chickens, 
donkeys, dogs, and hogs, he was content to live 
on the homely fare and under the simple cottage 
thatch of the peasant, whom he never afterward 
failed substantially to remember. 

It is a part of the reminiscences about Sir Henry, 
that while he was resplendent in social life and ex- 
quisite in personal taste, he was not to be relied 
upon. His word was not absolute verity. It was 
not exactly unveracity. It was imagination, all 
compact. It was a desire to please. He was 
princely in his entertainments. After he was no 
longer ambassador here, he returned on some 
speculative mission. He held the same old high 
carnival daily and nightly with his epicurean 
friends. What he did to embarrass the American 
missionaries here I do not exactly know. It had 
some reference to the^ American (Robert) College. 
Its then President, Dr. Hamlin, in his book, han- 
dles him without gloves. He held him to be as 
destitute of public probity as he was of private 

As Dr. Hamlin was outspoken as to this person- 
age, I may quote what he says, in his published 
volume : 



" The case of the college was at length laid be- 
fore Sir Henry Bulwer. He was a man, of no prin- 
ciple ; but he knew that to carry the measure 
would get him credit in England. He took hold 
of it with the intention of carrying it through. 
After a long time, and wearisome delays, he wrote 
me a note, saying that the question was decided, 
and that, within three days, I should have leave to 
go on. 

" I next received a note from him, telling me that 
I had made an unwise and inconsiderate bargain, 
in purchasing that place, and the consequences 
should justly fall on my own head. He saw no 
reason why the English Embassy should have any 
further trouble with regard to it ! 

" It was a treachery so base that I made no reply 
to it, and had nothing more to do with Sir Henry 
Bujwer. I felt curious, however, to know the rea- 
son for such a sudden facing about. Nor was it 
at all difficult to find. 

" He had received a magnificent 'gift' from the 
Pasha of Egypt, with a request that he would ar- 
range some important and pressing affairs with 
the Porte. 

" Another was sent to the Countess G , one 

of Sir Henry's mistresses, and, of course, he un- 
dertook the Pasha's business. Among the condi- 
tions made by A'ali Pasha, in return, was, that he 
should throw that college question overboard 


which he accordingly did, as not worth a moment's 
consideration. It is a good specimen of Sir 
Henry's character. In similar circumstances he 
would have thrown overboard any English inter- 
est with equal coolness." 

As an illustration of the morale of the diplomacy 
of Sir Henry Bulwer, let me record a fact. In 
May, 1860, Prince Gortschakoff addressed a circu- 
lar to the great powers of Europe as to the condi- 
tion of the Christians in the Balkan peninsula. 
It suggested inquiry to verify the facts, so as to 
bring about some amelioration. Sir Henry drew 
up a list of the questions which he sent to the Brit- 
ish consuls throughout the Empire. He accompa- 
nies it with a circular of his own. In this he inti- 
mates the way in which he expects the consuls to 
answer. As a sample of his shrewdness, not to 
say old-time diplomacy, in his circular of the 8th 
of August, 1860, the following passage occurs: 

" Your conduct in this crisis will be duly 
watched by me, and my opinion whether favorable 
or the reverse, communicated to Her Majesty's 

This threat had its commentary in the action of 
one unfortunate consul. He failed to receive the 
circular, and wrote too plain spoken a report. He 
afterwards apologized for it when he saw the cir- 
cular, and wrote a second destroying the effect of 
the first. 


This lack of private morality is not treasured 
against him so much as the lack of public honor. 
Of his acquisition and disposition of this rocky 
islet there is much said. After the isle was 
given him, Sir Henry, in 1854, spent $75,000 in 
its so-called improvement. He did not keep it 
long, but somehow, in some peculiar circuitous 
way, he resojd it for a round sum to the then 
Khedive of Egypt, Ismael Pasha, who yet lives as 
the best or worst type of a millionaire who has 
wrought a great fortune out of the misfortunes of 
his country. 

One of the stories which remains as to this isle 
is, that when Lord Lyons was appointed in Sir 
Henry's stead as ambassador here, he called on 
Lord Palmerston at the Foreign Office in Lon- 
don to receive his instructions. After they were 
given, Lord Lyons took his leave, saying : 

" My lord, is there anything else you can say 
as to Turkish affairs and my duties ? " 

Lord Palmerston replied " No." 

Lord Lyons said " Good-by. " 

As he reached the door and was about to make 
his exit, Lord Palmerston called out : 

" My lord ! Yes ! One thing I forgot. Never 
own an island ! " 

It was this island of Plati to which Palmerston 
referred. It lost Bulwer his place, for he sold it 
for a large sum to a party interested in his ser- 


vice. He lost his office by the indelicacy of the 

Now that we know the later history of the isle, 
let the launch steam up. Ho! for Plati ! Let us 
see what are the graces of the isle which attracted 
and outwitted the clever diplomatist. 

Before we dash away from the scala let us take 
an observation or two. With a good glass the 
two castles upon this rocky islet are visible from 
Prinkipo. We make preparations to launch out 
for it and lunch on it. Our Dalmatian serviteur, 
Pedro Skoppeglia, prepares the latter, while our 
Maltese Capitano Vincenzo takes the rudder in 
hand and gives his order. 

The launch is newly upholstered. It looks as 
gay as a jaybird. The cushions have been newly 
covered, and the flag looks its prettiest. The 
sea is quiet. No white horses are capering over 
its smooth azure surface. A few fishermen are 
dropping their nets. They look picturesque in 
their red sashes, baggy breeches and fez caps. 
They are half Greek, half Ottoman. A few ships 
lie at anchor in the harbor. The Asian coast, with 
its mountain curves on the north and east, is faintly 
lined against a sky which has but a few fleeces of 
clouds in the east, hiding the snowy tops of the 
Mysean Olympus. The sea is intense in its 
azure, except where there are rich bands of green, 
and the gulls sit like white flowers on its bosom. 


The water is as clear as a fountain in July when 
one " sees each grain of gravel." Lake Tahoe, in 
Nevada, is not more lucent than this water of the 
Propontis. A gentle breeze ripples it with sun- 
shine, and makes a myriad of glittering dia- 
mond points which decorate its blue robe. A 
few caiques ^^ feluccas with white wings are in 
the distance, whose horizon is stained here and 
there with the Cardiff coal smoke emitted from 
the steamers bound from Constantinople to the 

What a picture is that to the northward ! 
Stamboul, like an odalisque in her yashmak of 
finest tulle, seems to emerge from the blue deep. 
Like a picture of Turner, a semi-ideal glimpse of 
Venice or some weird mirage of Orientalism, it 
seems a fairy city of the sea. It is set on seven 
hills, and, although a dozen and more miles off, it 
looks as unreal as if woven by unseen fingers in 
aerial looms an unsubstantial dream of a country 
that never was on sea or land, which " great- 
browed Homer ruled as his demesne." 

My wife suggests a possibility of fishing at 
Plati, or on the way. At once we are environed 
by a picturesque group. We choose a four-oared 
caique with a canopy, and two sturdy Greeks. 
The caique itself is a picture. On its inside is a 
clean floor covered with Turkish rugs of rich col- 
ors. The wood-work is stained with golden hues. 


The outside is of green, red and white, daintily 
dashed or strewn with flowers not inartistically 
painted. You cannot tell stern from bow, so 
airily tip-tilted are the graceful ends of the boat. 
Our lines and bait are ready. We take a turn in 
the harbor with the launch, which was named by 
its owner, Mr. Jones, from whom it was leased, in 
honor of a pet name I have heard frequently : 
"Sunset." Then we take the caique in tow and 
leave the quay with much clat. 

Before we leave, let us take a glance at the old 
town, with its bath-houses and stone quays. What 
is that moving object far off to the Asian shore ? 
Is it a duck or a seamew ? The glass reveals it! 
It is an amateur in a flatboat, with paddles, which 
the man deftly plies. Our little screw gives a few 
saucy, splashy turns, for the admiration of the 
fishermen and Greek gamins of the quay, and we 
are off for the west, America-ward ! Halki is 
neared. Her big yellow barracks by the shore, 
with the Turkish naval school, her Greek the- 
ological college on the northern summit, and 
her wooded and lovely curved mountains, resem- 
bling a Mexican saddle or an inverted caique 
these detain the eye, but not the launch. 

A breeze springs up as we pass the hotels 
Calypso and Giacomo on the craggy shore of 
Prinkipo. The superb villas which crown the 
bluffs are on our left. The breeze starts the pris- 



matic windmills in motion. The flag over the 
Azarian water tower is our own star-spangled 
banner. It kisses the breeze, and we salute the 
starry emblem. Boys are swimming in the bay. 
The mountains, nearly to the top, seem to sway 
in the wind with their pines. The pretty nooks 
and twisted rocks of the shore, the gardens pro- 
fuse in scent, flower and rare trees pass by as if 
we are indeed in dream-land, with pleasure domes 
magically evoked out of sleep. Soon we pass on 
the south side of Halki. Its rocks are broken, 
cavernous, and precipitous, as if lashed by a thou- 
sand storms. Along this south side of Halki is 
a beautiful harbor. We pass round point after 
point of Halki, until between Halki and Antig- 
one there opens a vista scarcely credible for 
its loveliness. Chatak-Dagh, the highest moun- 
tain of the mainland of Asia, is in our rear, 1500 
feet high. It fills the gap which we look through. 
The shore line and mountains make a landscape 
over which and through which there hangs an 
interpenetrating lustre and distant unveiling which 
would make Bierstadt wild with artistic enthusi- 
asm. These isles take on a different dress when 
observed from the sea. 

We forget to look at yonder avenue of cypresses 
on Halki. They lead up to another famous mon- 
astery, where many a Greek exile has been housed 
and many a marriage ceremony has been per- 


formed. The rocky ledges of Antigone, near 
which we now sail, are rugged and lofty. They 
are not devoid of trees, which give garniture to 
their sides and ledges. Here sea birds live in 
great numbers. As we turn to look back again 
the dark coves of Western Prinkipo are revealed, 
and beyond the southern end of Prinkipo, little 
Niandro lies, almost in ambush, at the feet of 
St. George's mountain, which looms up as if it 
would rival Olympus, whose head is shrouded 
in the white clouds anchored over the Mysean 

Now, if we could keep right on, on, on, where 
would we land ? Get the map and see. It strikes 
me that we would strike Lemnos isle, to which 
the Empress Irene was banished when it pleased 
her lord-treasurer to show, his harsh authority 
over the murderous mother whose bones lie some- 
where on the Isle of Prinkipo. Or if we missed 
Lemnos, going due west, we would come up 
against the coast of Thessaly, and almost under 
the shadow of that other and more classic Olym- 
pus as to which there is much to be said when the 
roll of Homer's heroes is called. 

Our boat turns now to the isle of Bulwer Plati. 
It looks near, say five miles. I strive to sketch 
its outlines, for its exterior seems as yet only a 
blank rock. Its castles are dimly lined and neb- 
ulously white. We look back. Great shadows 


from white fleeces of clouds are moving over the 
Asian shore, and old Olympus has not yet come 
out of his tabernacle. The wavering line of the 
Asian shore to the south is pencilled on the edge 
of the horizon. It soon vanishes around Mo- 
dena's gulf and is lost in the sea. 

Passing the checkered and streaked cliffs of 
Halki and Antigone, noting the walls here and 
there to prevent land slides and excavations from 
which iron and copper have been taken, observing 
the clean-tilled brown and red earth which the 
olive and cypress ornament, smelling the scented 
shrub or machie which gives its fragrance to the 
air, we turn again to look back ; and lo ! St. 
George's monastery, on southern Prinkipo, is a 
white dot on the green eminence. We pass the 
southern shore of Antigone and note upon the 
narrow shingly beach the men who hunt birds, 
steal their eggs, and gather oysters or some other 
crustacce, which abound on these shores. They 
have boats. We run close to the beetled crags, 
colored and speckled like the increase of Jacob's 
flocks, while here and there are big boulders held 
aloft in the arms of stout rocks which frost and 
earthquake have tumbled from the scarred moun- 
tain sides. Antigone rises sheer 500 feet. Her 
side is full of caves. What are those white flowery 
specks mingled with the rock and greenery ? We 
soon ascertain, for have we not discovered and 


aroused the gulls and cormorants that here nestle ? 
They come out of their nooks by the thousand, 
and keep up such a clamor that it seems like the 
angry protest of a bird mob against the invasion 
of their haunts by our launch. 

These are the birds which make Marmora and 
the Bosphorus so full of life, even when the hot 
air silences all other noise and motion. They are 
never disturbed or killed by the inhabitants. 
They have a monopoly of the isle. They are 
gentle, as all inhabitants of the isle, which is 
named after the heroine of Sophocles, should be. 

This tameness of the birds is not limited to the 
Island of Prinkipo. All through the mosques and 
groves and walls and gardens of the old city of 
Stamboul you hear a universal twitter and the 
fluttering of wings which indicate the life of the 
birds. The sparrows fly in and out of the houses. 
The swallows, which seemed partial to my presence, 
fix their nests in every convenient arch in and out 
of the bazaars. The pigeons are maintained by 
many, and have a mosque of their own named 
after them. The gulls rival in number the turtle- 
doves, the one having dominion of the air and 
the other of the woods and cemeteries. The 
halcyons fly in long ranks up and down the Bos- 
phorus, as if restlessly intent on some very 
earnest business ; while the grave and dignified 
stork sits upon the towers of Anatolia and Rou- 


melia, and upon the cupolas of the grand mauso- 
leums. The Turk never harms these birds. 
Every bird has a little office of trust which it exe- 
cutes for this wild, reckless and sanguinary Turk. 

Now we steer direct for Plati. Its profile is a 
semicircle. It has dark gaps in its sides. There is 
a white building on its shore and another on its sum- 
mit. A few more whirls of the "Sunset's" screw 
and there is revealed the two Anglo-Saxon castles. 
No houses yet appear. The smaller sister, Oxia, 
is more like a pyramid. In fact, it is about twenty 
times as large as the pyramid of Ghiza, but not so 
symmetrical. As we draw near it takes on a rough 
aspect. These twin isolated rocks, as we approach, 
become quite tall and roomy. I should say that 
Plati Bulwer's Isle is at least a mile in circuit. 
Looking to the north-west there appears in dim 
outline the European coast. The white specks 
are the houses of San Stefano. There the famous 
Turco-Russian treaty was made, and there the 
Russian army lay in wait ready for a spring at, and 
into, Constantinople. 

As we approach the little isle the haze lifts. 
The desert of blue water is oased by a splen- 
did ship in full sail, bearing the Greek ensign. 
It moves like a vision of beauty and leaves 
no cloud upon the sky. It hides between the 
isles we have passed, then reappears. It is mov- 
ing toward Modena, which is the port of the 


ancient capital of the Ottoman at the foot of 

Now we are within a hundred yards of Plati, 
but as we cannot land in the launch, we embark 
on the caique with the fishermen, and are rowed 
into a little cave, where we are saluted by the sen- 
eschal of the castle. He is an old man, an Arme- 
nian, George by name. His last name is the last 
thing we inquire for. Every one here goes by 
the Christian name, even the Turks ! The castle 
is then, indeed, inhabited. Its towers and walls 
have a relict radiance of past glory. As we enter 
the chief room an enormous chandelier attracts at- 
tention. Then the fresco of the walls, the mosaic 
of the floors, and the tessellated pavements of the 
courts all speak of occupation and sudden decay. 
Everything is quiet. No birds sing : not even a 
cicada chirps. Not a ship or boat is in view. 
The sea is still. It seems like that primeval time 
before the winds were loosed from their caves. 
The water glistens and glows under the July sun. 
The haze clears away almost entirely. The city 
of Stamboul rises out of the blue elements. The 
minarets and cupolas of the mosque of Sulieman- 
yeh the best specimen of the Osmanli structural 
genius and the minarets and dome of stately 
Sofia, seem to gesture upward and swell with new 
grandeur. Turning to the east, every one of the 
nine isles are marked in clear outline, except little 


Pita, which plays hide and seek behind Antigone, 
and Andirovitha, which lies prone like the dragon 
under the shadow of St. George of Prinkipo. The 
clouds still enshroud Olympus on the south, but 
the outline of the Asiatic coast is becoming more 

The lower castle is much the larger. It has 
many chambers reception rooms with fireplaces, 
as if it might have been comfortable in winter. 
One of the rooms is a large frescoed hall. It has 
various bookcases, but no books, only painted titles. 
They give added mockery to this shell of a 
castle. Here is "The History of Mehemet Ali ; " 
there the " Histoire des Arabes;" yonder, Rob- 
inson's " Palestine," and again here D'Ohsson's 
" Tableau d'Empire Ottoman." Over a Turkish in- 
scription I find one most characteristic volume, 
contents omitted " Notes of Machiavelli and 

After looking about the castle on the shore, we 
mount the hill by a path. We are conducted by 
the Armenian. He tells us that he farms the 
property and that that is his consideration for 
being its chdtelain. I ask : " Do you make any- 
thing out of it?" 

" Some years a little. Not much this year." 
" How many hands do you employ ?" 
"We have," he replies, "eight persons on the 
island, including my boy here, Antoine, and my 


wife, who keeps house in the upper castle. The 
other men are flailing the oats now and caring for 
the six cows and one bull." 

The path to the upper castle had once been laid 
out with skill and fringed with flowers, '^^fleur- 
de-lis has left its remnants here on the borders. 
We pass old fig-trees that never fail to live where 
there is a mouthful of dust, a few olive, ash, and 
locust trees, remains of old buildings, oratories, 
convents, and kiosks, and pedestals of carved mar- 
ble and broken heads of columns, doubtless 
ravished from old temples and never worked into 
the projected architecture. Then we stand in 
front of the main castle. It is surrounded by foli- 
age. It has even in its ruin a fairylike look. 
" Perhaps in this neglected spot " Sir Henry 
hatched many a diplomatic .egg, or revelled in 
many a bout with his attache's and friends. 

There is a little touch of the Arabic in the 
Gothic of the building which destroys its unity. 
Large rocks and boulders lie about its esplanade. 
Sheafs of grain are stacked, and some maize and 
melon patches are on the terraces. 

The building above is not. so stately as the 
castle by the sea, but it is in better preservation 
and is prettier. The rocks are clad in a red lichen ; 
and vines in good condition are ;n eligible places. 
Here and there are garden spots, in which are 
gourds, pistachio nuts, melons, artichokes, and 



tomatoes in good growth. But the business looks 
as if it had gone to seed ; so do the peasants, in 
their Turkish fez, red Greek sash, and baggy 
breeches. The only healthy and handsome gentle- 
man on the isle is the bull. We come upon him 
unexpectedly. He makes a quiet remark in his 
own tongue, upon which I retreat suddenly. I 
am happy to see that he is tethered to a stake, which 
he could not pull up, by a chain he cannot break. 
His five cows serenely chew their cuds, and give 
no sign of surprise at our presence near the harem. 
We stand in front of the castle. The chdt- 
elaine appears. She is not romantic nor pretty, 
but polite. The two men stop their flail and 
come down the circular steps that lead to the por- 
tal above. On this circled terrace are trees of 
luxuriant growth and tangled vines in flower. 
The front of the palace has its windows and doors 
arched with brown and white stone from Chios. 
The floors within the rooms are of marble mosaic, 
and are not yet disarranged by neglect. The ceil- 
ings of most of the rooms are low, and where the 
rain has not entered, are as clean as when just 
frescoed. There are mirrors all about, in the din- 
ing, library, and other rooms. The colored glass 
gives a dim religious light to the chambers. But 
the feature of these apartments is the imitation 
book-cases. These are cupboards, but their doors 
are neatly painted with the binding and titles of 


works of all kinds. This seems to have been the 
ruling passion of Bulwer this outside display of 
literature. I ask George to open one of the 
book-cases. Ostensibly it was a library of vol- 
umes on the English, French, German, and Turk- 
ish ciiisine. He opens it, and a lot of bottles 
filled with the vin du pays appear. This evokes 
a smile all round ; but George does not tender us 
a perusal of the contents of these brittle books. 
Here are books entitled " Wine Drinkers," 
" Geography," and " Metaphysics." Over one 
door of this library is written in French: "// 
faut vivre avec ses amis." Over another is the 
same motto in Turkish. It seems strange that 
Bulwer should seek such a secluded spot, where 
friends could rarely come, and where, if the tradi- 
tions are correct, he was rather limited in his se- 
lection by number and sex. What a commentary 
these chambers furnish of the elegant man of the 
world this type of the accomplished strategist 
in the wiles of diplomatic war ! 

Upon these marble floors lie piles of oats 
and broken straw for the kine, while the sound of 
the flail keeps time where the golden bowl used 
to flow and the viands of the epicure were wont 
to steam. Now the common vegetable used for 
the peasant's soup called sobitha a kind of seed 
or nut, is spread in one room, while in another the 
worm-eaten wooden floor has lost its power even 


of storage. Upon these desolations the soft hues 
of the stained archways give a melancholy lustre, 
which the mirrors yet unbroken on ceiling and on 
wall reflect in multiform shapes. Some pictures 
are in the salle a manger, but they are not as fresh 
as those I saw on the tombs of Egypt, four thou- 
sand years old. 

We pass up a stairway of white marble, 
which is perfect, and the only perfect piece of 
work remaining. Streaks of white light here shoot 
through the round windows. Here, too, is another 
illusory library. One cupboard has a lot of suppos- 
ititious volumes entitled, " Is Wine Beneficial ? " 
another in German " Drunken." Secret recesses 
repeat these illusions. Here, over the bedstead, 
in an alcove, is a case of " Rfoes " Dreams ! 
The bedstead is elegant, but the family of the 
Armenian peasant sleep upon the coarse quilt 
which covers its gilding. Over the fireplaces are 
volumes of " Day Dreams," another of " Visions." 
The outlook over the castellated terrace up-stairs 
shows the superb sea in its ultramarine robe, and 
Stamboul the Beauteous ! The upper rooms 
are hot and close. Some of the doors are screens 
of flowers in applique, upon cloth, picturing vine, 
leaf, and grape upon both sides. 

These rooms are painful to behold, like the 
wreck of a proud man in the glory of his youth. 
Upon the floor below, in one of the rooms, 


there lie the disjecta membra of an alabaster vase of 
proportionate elegance, and chased with the vine, 
leaf and fruit. I asked George if he thought the 
ex-Khedive's agent in Constantinople would sell 

"Yes, he would. In fact, it had been once sold 
to an American, but he had never taken it nor 
paid for it. Ali Effendi, at Kioskontak, on the 
Bosphorus, is the agent. See him ! " 

We passed out into the court. It is not large, 
say 100 feet square. It has a fountain, but no 
water. It has flowering shrubs, but their scent is 
wild, as if the tangle of time had deprived them of 
sweetness. Weeds, weeds, weeds all, an epitome 
of the life of their former owner. Some of the 
walls are tumbling down, and have props, but the 
arches spring perennially beautiful in their various 
stones from the island home of Homer. The 
general color of the building is white, so that the 
stains of time and weather are plainly apparent. 
Still the towers remain, and the castellation is 
clean cut against the sky. 

The best-preserved portions of the castle are 
the stables. They are quite roomy. What did 
Sir Henry want of horses on so small an isle ? I 
stumbled over an old grist stone made to grind 
the grain as old as that which Mungo Park's ne- 
gresses used when he was investigating Africa 
the counterpart of that which is seen in Egypt to- 


day. I can understand its utility here in this 
lonely place. There are fishers' nets lying about 
in which my feet are entrapped. Their raison 
d'etre is also apparent, for Marmora is the sea for 
fish par excellence. I can appreciate the pleasure 
terrace beyond the palace, looking west, for here 
the sentimental diplomat of the Bulwer type could 
profitably muse as he looks off toward sunset 
and Washington, where his Clayton-Bulwer treaty 
is still discussed. I can appreciate also the garden 
of figs and melons between this terrace and the 
western end of the isle a wild, incongruous ro- 
mance on durable rock ; for have we not regaled 
ourselves upon the fresh fig and the delicious mel- 
ons ? I can imagine a utility in the little lizard 
which flashes into the sunlight out of the rocks, to 
give my wife an ejaculatory surprise. Even the 
snails which cling to the shrubbery have their use, if 
only as a bait for fish. I can well imagine why the 
kitchen, with its ovens and wood-house, is separated 
from the castle, and which still has its use as a 
chicken-house. The old petroleum cans that lie 
around have their use as buckets. I can under- 
stand the compensation which a place of this iso- 
lated kind, so full of remoteness from the " cries 
of the people who do come and go, " -furnishes to 
the jaded intellect and the palled taste of the hot 
and stifling city. I need not read Ruskin to give 
emphasis to the utility of beauty, such as this pano- 


rama establishes, with breezy fretwork upon the 
blue sea, and its inspiration drawn so closely from 
the fountains of nature. But I cannot fancy what 
on earth Sir Henry could want, on such an isle, of 
such stable room for a great stud of horses, who 
could not caper very nimbly here without falling 
off into the Marmora sea. 

Perhaps the solution is found in the Quixotic 
spirit which erected these castles in such an out- 
of-the-way spot, or perhaps in the spirit of some 
of the mock volumes whose titles I read in the 
lower castle halls, as, ''Themes on the Impossible," 
or " L' Advantages de la Lune et du Soleil Com- 
pares," or " Charmes du Manage par un Garon 
de 80 ans ; " for in their different-colored bindings, 
blue, red, and green, these odd and outre" titles to 
textless books render them pretty toilets to the 
eye which thirsts for the realities which are not 

I said nearly every object here indicates de- 
cay. There is an exception in front of the castle. 
It is a good has relief of St. George and the 
Dragon and an elegant monogram of " H. L. B." 
This cipher is all that remains to attest the per- 
sonality of the accomplished diplomatist, who, in 
making these structures, built more than a Spanish 
castle. The figments of his brother, Sir Edward 
Lytton-Bulwer, and the poetry of the son (" Owen 
Meredith "), who glorified Florence Nightingale by 


a song as sweet as that melodious bird itself can 
sing, have left their permanent impressions upon 
our time. But these ruins of mortar and stone, 
glass and wood, have no meaning except to mark 
the swift decadence of the statesman who erected 
them, and of the fall from power of the ex-Khe- 
dive, Ismail Pasha, who owns them. 

Thus moralizing, we take our way, after making 
remuneration to the Armenian keeper for his po- 
liteness in showing us the realities of these castles, 
which seem from the Bosphorus and from the other 
isles like unreal chateaux en Espagne, or castles in 
the air. We find at the landing the good launch 
"Sunset" sitting like a bird upon the sea, impa- 
tient to show off her brand new flag to these ward- 
ers of this once strange diplomatic chateau. Our 
ambitions take a more apostolic turn, and, forget- 
ting diplomacy and its eccentricities, we steam over 
the clear blue water to Antigone with our fishing 
caique in the wake. There we enter the caique, 
and fish for grand pois 'sons, while the launch darts 
around the isle for the sustenance of our bodies, 
i.e., lunch. What we caught is nothing to nobody. 
But we brought home a splendid many-hued string 
of memories with all the flavor and zest of castle 
building, without the glamour of antiquity. 




"THERE is the making of a monk in every man," 
says Miss Cleveland, in her essay on monasticism. 
As its complement, it might be said that there is 
the making of a nun in every woman. Man is 
more than half a recluse. More than half the 
time he prefers to be cloistered. Certainly, if he 
have studious or contemplative tendencies, and 
had the opportunities and books, he would not 
mind much isolation from his fellows. John Bun- 
yan and Cervantes could fill up their time delight- 
fully, even in jail. Men in these Eastern climes 
have sought and yet seek the cave and the monas- 
tery. When the world palls, or ambition is slaked, 
or the passions are paralyzed, men, and women 
too, seek diversion in the hermitage. This oc- 
curred to me when I first looked at my Prinkipo 
" Castle of Indolence," and isolation. I was ready 
to say, as I looked at the enchantment of shore, 
sea and sky : " Here is Nature's grace ! Here are 
the open windows of heaven ! Here dawn and 
eve color the vault and deck the blue waves. 




Here are cosy nooks and seats of vantage, far from 
public work and resort. Here 

" Let health my nerves and finer fibres brace, 
And their toys to the great children leave ; 
Of fancy, reason, virtue, nought can me bereave." 

After a visit to the hermit of Halki, I was more 
than ever disposed to bless my stars that, for a 
time at least, I had the privilege of a home remote 
from all worldly associations, and even from the 
usual noises and excitements of the isle. After a 
little, however, my sociality began to assert itself. 
The little children, the very dogs, chickens and 
donkeys evoked it. Within our villa and garden 
there were few or no intrusions. I was content to 
dream and read, to read and write, until ordered 
up the mountain for a sanitary stroll. 

When I came to this villa my first adventure 
was to the library. The son of the proprietress 
had been crowned at Cambridge, England, as first 
in classics. His library, though not large, was 
pleasing and select. I remembered what Caliban 
had said of Prospero in the Isle of "The Tem- 

" Remember to possess his books ! " 

I had practised on this Shakesperian edict. One 
of my victims was our city landlord. I levied on 
him before I began to prey on the villa library. 


That is why and how I had become master of a 
library of my own. 

The hotel most famous in Constantinople is the 
Hotel d'Angleterre. It used to be kept by Mis- 
sirie. The soldiers in the Crimean war called his 
hotel " Misery." My experience in 1881 was that, 
since it has been kept by the Greek, Logothetti, 
"word-bearer," it was well kept. I had then the 
best room, overlooking the Bosphorus and the Sea 
of Marmora, and I ought to have been content. 
It was not misery. I was content 

In rummaging around in the old and odd places 
of the hotel I found that travellers to the East for 
fifty years had left books and what not, and that 
they were gathered in the dusty holes and recon- 
dite shelves of the hotel. I used to spoil my clean 
linen by exploiting these places for literary spoil. 
One book which I found was the volume of an Aus- 
trian secretary at Moscow, quite confidentially giv- 
ing a narrative of naked facts about Peter the Great 
and his diabolism. Only one other copy of the 
work was ever found. That one was discovered 
by Eugene Schuyler at Naples. The rest, in the 
interest and honor of the Czars and their regime, 
had been destroyed. 

On my return to Constantinople, in 1885, I 
went rummaging again. I found that volume 
gone. Making a bargain with M. Logothetti, I 
" launched " off to Prinkipo quite a lot of these 


waifs. They are before me. Here is one ! It 
has on its fly-leaf the name of Lady Mary Wort- 
ley Montagu. But can it be her signature? If it 
were, it would be doubly enhanced. It is only a 
Gazetteer of the "known world" in 1815, with "im- 
provements" by Dr. Brookes, of London. It is 
printed for J. Burnpus. It opens with a map of the 
world of 1815, from the "best authorities." The 
imaginary and abstract lines like the poles and 
circles are in the map, in geometric symmetry ; 
but between Capricorn and Cancer the goat and 
the crab in Africa, is " Negro-land," avast space. 
There is hardly a name between that of " Hot- 
tentot" and " Barbary." What a filling of space, 
since by the De Brazzas and the Stanleys, by the 
Spekes, Livingstones, and Bakers ! 

Among the definitions of this Gazetteer is this : 
" That a hill is a small kind of mountain !" This 
remarkable book begins with four " Aa's." They 
are rivers in Samogitia, Picardy, etc. It ends 
with Zytomicrz a town in Poland, but pasted at 
the end of the zeds, is a poem whose last verse is : 

" And woman woman ever bright ! 
I loved thee most, when least sincere." 

The Gazetteer spells Michigan, Michagan ; Chi- 
cago as a river or village is not even named. 
Turning mechanically to the word " Limburg," the 
Gazetteer says : " It is the place for excellent 


cheese." " Limestone, or Maysville, Ky.," is in 
the catalogue. Pennsylvania is celebrated for 
neither coal, iron, nor oil ; but for potash, furs, 
skins, and wax. Philadelphia the Turks call it 
Allahhijah had then only two thousand Chris- 
tians. I beg pardon ; that is the old Philadelphia 
near Smyrna, where there was one of the seven 
churches. The capital of Penn's State is said by 
Mr. J. Bumpus, to have grown so fast that in the 
lifetime of the first person born in it, it contained 
forty thousand people. As my mother was born 
there, it was not exactly a city of brotherly, but of 
motherly love ; and I am proud to have it said in 
the Gazetteer that it is near New York and has a 
magnificent State-house and a Philosophical hall. 
Illinois is set down as a river in Indiana. New 
Haven is celebrated for its card-teeth, college, and 
buttons. Ohio is a State with five districts, of 
which New Connecticut is one. There are " no 
slaves " there. Marietta is its largest town ; but 
Chillicothe is the capital. Massachusetts is well 
watered and produces plenty of maize, hemp, and 
copper ! It has a machine for cutting nails, in- 
vented by Jacob Perkins, which makes 200,000 
nails a day ! That State makes 1,900,000 gallons 
of distilled spirits a year ! New York State has 
wheat for its staple and abounds in fine lakes. 
The city of New York is fifteen miles in length, 
but hardly one in breadth. It has " no basin or 


bay for the reception of ships, but the road where 
they lie in East river is defended from the terrific 
violence of the sea by some islands, which inter- 
lock each other ! " What a commentary on Long, 
Staten, and other islets, and Hell-gate and its 
dynamitic thunders and forces ! Is New York 
equipped for education and goodness ? Yes. It 
has "a noble seminary called Columbia College 
and a magnificent edifice called Federal Hall, 
where the illustrious Washington took the oath ! 
It has a botanical garden. In time of peace it has 
commerce ! In time of war it is insecure. It has 
no marine force. 

Philippi is recorded in the Gazetteer only as a 
town in Macedonia. It is not said that Cassius 
and Brutus met there at a cross-roads grocery to 
drink the health of Augustus and Antony, before 
Christ some forty-two years. Of China it is said 
that it excels in kitchen-gardens and cultivates the 
bottom of its rivers. It has trees on which is 
raised tallow ! The Chinese complexion is a sort 
of tawny ; and those who are thought to be most 
handsome are the most bulky. The Chinamen 
affect pomposity, but their houses are low. The 
empire existed before Noah's flood. They drink 
a liquor called ft rack." It is not added what kind 
of a racket it makes when exported into such 
unknown realms as Wyoming and California ! 
Is California gazetteered ? Yes. It is put down 


as a peninsula. It is separated from the coast by 
the Vermilion sea. Of this my friend the pub- 
lisher and learned author, Bancroft, of San Fran- 
cisco, will take heed. Galvez found a pearl fish- 
ery in its gulf I reckon of Colorado. He 
found mines of gold of a very promising appear- 
ance. Most Californians use a girdle and a piece 
of linen for clothing; but further north the Cali- 
fornians use shells for ornament and live in caves. 
Its chief town is St. Juan, which makes a wine like 

Saratoga is a town and a fort. It is on the east 
side of the Hudson. Not to be prolix, the 
United States itself is summed up in this Gazet- 
teer as seventeen States. They are well sup- 
plied with rivers, great and small, springs, and 
lakes. In the large towns the houses are of 
brick ; in the others and their environs, of planks ; 
but eighty miles from the sea, in the Central and 
Southern States, seven-tenths of the inhabitants 
live in log houses. These houses are made of the 
trunks of trees. They are from twenty to thirty 
feet long and four or five inches in diameter. 
They are laid upon one another and support their 
ends into each other. The spaces between the 
trunks are filled with clay. They have two doors, 
which are hung with wooden hinges. These 
doors frequently supply the place of windows. 
Neither nails nor iron of anv sort are used. 


All this was long before the rivalry between Chi- 
cago, Cincinnati, and St. Louis. 

To one interested in our census since 1810 this 
Gazetteer makes a picture of contrasts interesting 
and economic. 

" The chinkin' and daubin' " of even the log 
cabins of the 1840 campaign seem, to one who has 
passed through our civil war, as quite a rearward 
object of domestic architecture. 

Comparing this description with that of Con- 
stantinople in the Gazetteer, how great the 
changes ! These changes indicate civilizing ener- 
gies even in the capital of Turkey. The descrip- 
tion of Constantinople almost suits its present con- 
dition ; but not quite. Its towers and walls its 
castles and multitudinous houses are the same ! 
St. Sophia, with its room for 100,000 worshippers, 
remains. The seraglio burned down some twenty 
years ago. A railroad now runs around those old 
walls, out of which the odalisqites of Abdul Mejid 
peeped thirty years ago, when I first saw it. The 
bazaars are the same. The Jewish and Armenian 
traders are the same; but the "great number of 
girls from Hungary, Greece, Circassia, and 
Georgia, for the service of the Turks," have 
greatly diminished. The ambassadors, now as 
then, live on the Pera side of the Golden Horn ; 
but the fifty thousand graceful caiques no longer 
ply upon the Bosphorus for general transporta- 



tion. The Shirket company runs steam ferries 
up and down the straits, and the azure sky is 
stained with their coal soot and smoke. A car, 
run by an endless chain and by the vapor of water, 
lifts the passenger from the shore at Galata to 
the top of Pera heights. A street railway plies 
its work and sounds its horn not only upon the 
newly-widened streets of Pera, but even in the 
narrow streets of Stamboul, upon whose travel or 
travail there look out of the jalousies of the Mos- 
lem the beauties of the haremlik ! 

Outside of the great city are the same treeless 
hills and furrowed vales. Here and there they 
are green and laughing with cultivation, and not 
unspeckled with the splendid black and white 
sheep and goats of the suburbs. As far as the 
eye can see, the glorious panorama of mountain 
and water, with the grand prospect of domes, 
minarets, palaces, armories, arsenals, and barracks, 
is spread out for the wondering and admiring 
gaze. The old commanding situation for com- 
merce and empire remains, and will ever remain. 

The same Eastern imbroglio continues, from the 
same old motives, from the same great and greedy 
powers. Gradually the European elements are 
encroaching upon Asiatic features and policy. It 
may be that, before the new century dawns, the 
dreams of Peter the Great will be realized ; or 
else that the Greek under some noble impulse, 


and from consenting and non-conflicting elements, 
may resume his worship in St. Sophia and his 
control from the palace of Blachernae. It may 
be that the capital of old Byzantium will become a 
free port. All this is problematical, for the Turk 
may remain under better conditions. Eastward 
the star of empire may take its way, even though 
it glimmer within the horns of the crescent. 

But I was rummaging in my villa library among 
the lost tribe of books of the old Missirie hostelry. 
It is the same as ever as in all libraries ; for all 
libraries when analyzed have their chance compan- 
ions. Here is a learned treatise by Lord Lindsay 
on " Christian Art," with its symbolism and 
mythology, written originally for " Sir Coutts Lind- 
say, Baronet." It is said to have wings for the 
artist to the gate of heaven ! Its uncut volumes 
are as clean as the subject; never having been 
other than idealized by the sacred quality of the 
author's mind. Next to these volumes is Eugene 
Sue's " Martin the Foundling." It has his por- 
trait in the French toilet of 1847. The book is 
illustrated by Shepherd. It shows the prevalent 
taste in unchristian art and literature four decades 
ago. Hallam next kisses George Eliot's "Gipsy." 
Plans of fortifications for Crimean struggles lie 
dormant, next to books on the peace of Christ 
which passeth all understanding of their proxim- 
ity. Hepworth Dixon bounds into the arena, 


along with a dozen books of highly-colored litho- 
graphs showing the " Dawnings of Light in the 
East ! " A score of volumes descriptive of all the 
lands and peoples from Bagdad to Carthage, with 
here and there love-tokens sent as bookmarks, and 
flowers from Bethlehem, whose faint odors are all 
too emblematic ! Mitford's full volumes on Greece 
sit down with " Gentle Elia," Bulwer's " Rienzi," 
Tom Moore's " Lalla Rookh," Cicero, and " Eo- 
then. " But who spreads the feast for these ana- 
chronistic people? Who? Why, the very prince 
of the cuisine himself. Soyer makes a " culinary 
campaign," which he calls historical reminiscences 
of the late war (Crimean), with the plain art of 
cookery ! 

This culinary champion was a confederate of 
Florence Nightingale in the campaign which she 
made against the evils of war, in the hospitals of 
Scutari. In this volume he dishes up many his- 
torical delicacies. He makes up in succulence of 
detail what he lacks in literary proficiency ! Per- 
haps no one in that singular war achieved more 
reputation than this great chief of the kitchen. 
He was a practical man. When not organizing 
his suite in the hospital kitchen for the disabled 
and wounded soldier, he was purveying in a kind- 
lier office. That his life was not entirely fruitless 
of good, his volume fully demonstrates ; for after 
his laborious campaign, in bidding adieu to his 
readers, he says : 



" I do not intend to remain Soyer Tranquille, 
but I hope to be the means of causing a lasting 
amelioration in the cooking for all public institu- 
tions. Such a result of my labors, after my long 
culinary experience, ought to make an author 
happy indeed, and I hope for the future to be 
found as traced below." Here follows, as the curi- 
ous finale of a useful and benevolent life, his own 
picture, as he sits felicitously over a glass of Cha- 
teau Yquem, in some celestial cuisine above the 
stars ! 

All through this odd volume of Alexis Soyer 
Miss Nightingale sings her quiet music of 
humanity so sweet amid the sensual palate pleas- 
ures, that "we know not we are listening to it." 

From all the ends of the earth and from all the 
aeons of time come forth from Missirie's dusty 
volumes these controversial, didactic, military, 
theologic, descriptive, cuisinistic and classic folk 
dressed in garbs as various as those which make 
the Stamboul bridge a perpetual kaleidoscope ! 
Here, in Misery's hotel as some one has sung, 
but whose music I cannot recall in verse here the 
rage of controversy ends ; zealots become friends, 
Socinians abide with Calvinists, and those other 
Calvinists or Kismetians of Mohammed meet 
Catholic and Quaker and 

" Bellemarine has rest at Luther's feet. " 


I am forbidden by my wife and other powers to 
write for publication on political and social themes 
pertinent to this capital of diplomacy. Having, 
however, the cacoethes equal to any Scotchman, I 
must be writing something at odd moments. If I 
cannot make literature of a higher grade, may I 
not take glances at those who have been creators 
of that order of work ? 

It is difficult to find any " Orient pearls" not 
already discovered and strung. And yet these 
wonderful seas and waters ought to be gemmed at 
bottom : but where one wo~uld find pearls he 
only gets sponges ! It takes away my breath 
when I think of trying to write of some new thing 
here. Or, to keep to the metaphor, as in the 
pearl fisheries of the Red Sea, I am not unlike the 
diver who does not often obtain the pearls, but, 
reckless of sharks and death otherwise, he is con- 
tent with filling his lungs for three minutes and 
loading his feet with a stone, and, dropping his 
ballast, to arise with one oyster, whose pearl is 
not always equal to the effort and occasion. 

Yet what a sea for pearls of thought pearls of 
great price is this Mediterranean, which through 
divers ways leads up to this capital of capitals ! 
The Mediterranean is called by the Turks the 
White Sea. It is blue, but cheerful as the white 
light of unclouded day. It is tideless, but what 
tides has it not witnessed in the affairs of men 



taken at the flood by some and at the ebb 
by others ? It is the sea of historic movements 
as well as of musical cadences. Troy, Carthage, 
Byzantium, Athens, Rome, Alexandria - - ever 
romantic and commercial, classic and barbaric ! 
Over its waters Crusaders came ; amid its isles 
Venetian and Genoese sailed. Now upon its 
bosom steamers of Russia, Austria, France and 
England ply with ceaseless interchange. But an 
American vessel with the star-spangled banner- 




Again the precept of Shakespeare is heard : 
" Remember to possess his books." 

Without them, Prospero had not one spirit to 
command ! When I made the lease of this villa 
there came into our possession all the lore of the 
Cambridge scholar, much of which was all Greek 
to me, especially the modern Greek. It was my 
custom in the morning, when .the air was cool and 
fresh, to promenade, book in hand, up to the half- 
way seat on the mountain side. > Here I could 
read undisturbed. Here, I re-read Homer, not 
merely in English, but in the original, with much 
marking and remarking between the lids of my 
scholarly landlord's copy. 

The confessions of Jean Jacques Rousseau were 
found in this library, lying close to some religious 
Armenian literature. I perused them for the first 
time under these skies, where Rousseau's father 
used to live and work too, as watchmaker to His 
Majesty, the Sultan! How strangely this senti- 



mental yet gross Franco-Swiss philosopher, with 
his love of nature and nastiness, his amours and 
his amiableness impresses one ! His style is so 
lucent and his artlessness so absolute, that one 
need not wonder that his social theories, arrayed 
in alluring garb, caught the fancy and enthralled 
the emotions of his time. 

By adding some of my own favorite volumes to 
these bookish anchorites of our villa, I have read- 
ing enough. I can accomplish more than Home 
Tooke did when he was in prison ; for not only 
have I the " Diversions of Purley" in studying 
radically many tongues, but I can delve literally 
into the old earth herself, with Rousseau, in search 
of medicinal roots, to gratify my botanic fancies. 

Besides having the launch and the free sea, 
the flag and " interterritoriality," I am as un- 
hampered as the botanizing bee or butterfly in our 
garden, that flies from flower to flower at its own 
sweet will. But this freedom of motion is not the 
idea of a hermitage. 

One of the precious little diamonds in literature, 
which was presented to me by a D.D., whom we 
call the " Dreadful Dragoman," is that of P. Gyllii, 
on the " Topographia of Constantinople." Its 
frontispiece has the imprimatur and flavor of 
Munich. It was printed in 1632. It is two hun- 
dred and fifty years old. Two angels in the 
frontispiece draw up two curtains between classic 


columns, in order to display the old city with its 
mosques and khans. Beneath is* a picture of the 
Seraglio Point. The houses were far apart then, 
and the foliage abundant. The same kind of 
boats float on the current as those of the present 
day. It is a picture of the city under the Sultans 
in its primal splendor. 

I must not omit a glance into an unpretending 
volume by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, which illus- 
trates the institutions of ancient Athens. If it be 
not accurately historic, it is provocative of the 
study of Mitford, whose nine volumes have each a 
significant picture, a rich text and learned notes. 
Bulwer not only illustrates the matchless genius 
and glory of Greece, but the interesting struggles 
which her states carried on in these colonial 
waters, upon whose bosom to-day ride steamers 
which the classic Greek with all his fleet Mercuries 
and potential Neptunes never imagined. Some of 
his chapters and scenes take me to the very boun- 
daries of Bulgaria, where a Battenberg prince 
now keeps the Balkans in perpetual turmoil. I 
confess to a prejudice against Hessians, which 
these summer studies from this library have 
strengthened : but I must not confound Prince 
Alexander of Hesse Darmstadt with that venal 
scoundrel of Hesse Cassel, who sold his subjects 
to King George III. of England, to destroy the 
colonies of America. 


From the perusal of these histories of human 
degeneracy, how happy to find the works of the 
" Gentle Elia." They bring back the remem- 
brances of summer days, like those we pass here ; 
and of delightful years, before diplomacy required 
reserve. His words " Spoken at the Mermaid!" 
and his sonnets of sweetness and quaint conceits 
give a vivacity which no carking care about 
Harpoot schools or Bulgarian atrocities can ever 
dispel from our diplomatic mind. 

Here, too, is found hidden between Greek and 
Armenian tomes, Longworth's " Year Among the 
Circassians." It was published in 1840. It has 
some old lithographs of the interiors of Circassian 
homes. These are rude huts. Few articles of 
necessity and none of luxury are shown in the pict- 
ure. Here is a man with a turban. He wears a 
black beard and a blouse. On his breast are 
a score of cartridges arrayed tastefully. He 
sports light stockings and the usual pointed 
shoes. A saddle and gun, a curved sword 
and a blanket, with an ottoman sofa or so, for re- 
clining at meals, or for rest, make up the furni- 
ture. A fire of faggots is at one end of the hut. 
There a tea kettle is boiling. A graceful girl, in 
a pretty bodice of dark material, a skirt of light 
color, and a tasteful unique head-dress is the cen- 
tral female figure. A sheep at the door, and a 
brace of dogs near by, are the accompaniments. 


The household is serving a Persian, Turkish or 
Jewish visitor with meats and cups of refresh- 
ment. The hospitality is unbounded. This is 
the scene, nearly a half century ago, before 
Schamyl was conquered and the Russian had tri- 
umphed over native valor and mountain fastness. 

But the Turk had long before then conquered, 
by his gold and other agents, the beauties of these 
mountain homes, for his harems. Buying and 
selling slaves for wives was then a legal matter. 
The mountain beauties liked to be sold out of 
their rude modes of living into the luxurious 
ease of the grand capital. Any stranger who 
interfered with the affair of the hadji, or 
merchant, was left to the cold sympathies of 
those most nearly interested. The father, or 
husband, not only often acquiesced in the trans- 
action, but it was not considered disreputable for 
an ouzden, or a freeman in good circumstances, to 
sell his own children. The advantages of a 
settlement in a good harem in Turkey, was the 
animus of this business which has given most of 
the women and mothers to the Turkish harems. 
Besides, these females received a pretty good edu- 
cation in Turkey, including religious teaching. 
Their condition was bettered. Marriage in Tur- 
key, as I show in another chapter, is comparative 
freedom. It was not freedom they wanted, but 
ease and slippered luxury. Fancy gilded their 


future. They used to bring a higher price if they 
were something beyond a tobacco-smoking hanoum. 
Housewifery enhanced their price. Sometimes 
the best and prettiest were placed in establish- 
ments, where, under matronly care, they learned 
to read and write, acquired some Arabic and Per- 
sian literature, and were taught how to deport 
themselves gracefully and graciously. It mat- 
tered not if they were property, when, after they 
could display their graces of mind and body, they 
could rise to independence. They could be thus 
weaned from the dependence which made them 
submissive to the haughtier sex even in their own 
Circassian household. When ushered into a more 
entrancing sphere, let us not. be surprised at 
seeing in these women of the Circassian moun- 
tains those gentle qualities, controlling the hardier 
sex, which form the most attractive features 
of the Turkish woman, with her languishing 
eye and splendid figure. The very Spartan 
vigor and fierceness of the Circassian man, which 
forbade him to see his wife except stealthily, while 
it destroyed much of his affectionate nature, 
gave to the female under such discipline and 
reserve a constrained and modest demeanor, 
which is a most seductive part of her loveliness. 
After many generations, and with the delights and 
comforts of her new home and the bath, she obtains 
a complete mastery over herself, and her Turkish 


husband and lord. That mastery extends to her 
children. This makes her a provoking conun- 
drum to the Frank, and a fascinating dream to all 
who behold her. 

The Georgian has a beauty quite different from 
that of the Circassian. The Circassian is daz- 
zling, queenlike and stately. She has a fair skin. 
She is elegant in form. She is kindly and gentle in 
voice, but lazy in movement and without esprit. 
One of her own sex has said: " there is no soul in a 
Circassian beauty; and as she pillows her pure, pale 
cheek upon her small dimpled hand, you feel no 
inclination to arouse her into exertion ; you are 
contented to look upon her and to contemplate 
her loveliness." The Georgian is a creature with 
eyes like meteors, and teeth almost as dazzling as 
her eyes. Her mouth does not wear the sweet 
and unceasing smile of her less vivacious rival ; 
but the proud expression that sits upon her finely 
arched lips accords so well with her stately form 
and lofty brow that you do not seek to change its 

I have an impression that the Georgian is 
quite a dominant element in Turkey through the 
mother. We lose sight of this in our confused 
estimates of the Orient and its domestic influences. 

Ever since the i8th of September, 1885, the 
"ant-hill" of Pera, where the diplomatic people 
winter, and the palaces of Bayukdere and Thera- 


pia, where they summer, have been in incessant 
moil and toil over the perpetual question of the 
East. Many of the books which I found at Mis- 
serie's old Hotel d'Angleterre, and which I was 
allowed to import to Prinkipo, were on this subject. 
They were not diverting ; and yet they were full 
of eventualities which never happened, and of 
prophesies of new phases in which fresh delimita- 
tions of frontier and changes of dynasties came 
and went in mosaic confusion. They show the 
futility of a priori reasoning. They were big 
with the fate of empires and of men, but other- 
wise little. One prospect appears all through 
this class of literature. It is a " Dawning in the 
East " which has never yet dawned. And yet 
where else should there be dawn ? I open a vol- 
ume with this phrase as a title. It was written 
at Bagdad in 1853. Was that locality too far 
East to enjoy a dawn ? This writer indulged in 
roseate hopes for the Jews in Persia, Kurdistan 
and Chaldea ; but the past thirty years have not 
verified his optimistic predictions, either as to Jew 
or Gentile. The Euphrates still runs down, the 
tents of the Bedouin are still on its banks and the 
projected railroad of the .valley is still a dream of 
the engineer. 

But the missionaries continue their work ; and, 
although surrounded by Bedouins, we have the 
same good report every day of advancement in 


teaching the native as to his life and letters, and 
the prevalence of brigandage by Circassian vil- 

My view of Turkey is more hopeful. From the 
Robert College, if permitted to continue its work, 
may come the redemption of the time and of Asia 
Minor, Syria and the Balkans. Princes may come 
and princes may go into these struggling lands, 
but at last the potent secret will be revealed, and 
the light of America will illume the forlorn peasant 
homes of these historic and much-vexed lands. 

What next ? A weather-stained volume called 
" Turkey and its Resources," by Urquart, pub- 
lished in 1853. The author is more economic 
than prophetic. He had inklings that the adhe- 
sion of the various parts of Turkey were soon to be 
a thing of the past ; and yet he was surprised that 
Turkey still was languishing and lingering. He 
finds the secret of this cohesion of empire in muni- 
cipal organization. This was not an accident, in 
his opinion, but an organic principle of Arabic 
legislation. The free states of Greece were the 
models, in fact the origin, of this Home Rule, which 
binds the tribes of the East in some sort of unity. 
One of the strange things which this author dis- 
cerned and which the Turks could not understand 
was : How can a free land tax commerce and sur- 
vive. This problem is commended to my own 
countrymen for solution. 



One volume, in gilt attire like a pasha at Bairam, 
fairly leaps out of its shelf to greet my eye with 
its large and elegant typography and its interest- 
ing contents. It is the fifteenth edition of Sir 
Edward Creasy's " Fifteen Decisive Battles of the 
World, from Marathon to Waterloo." Upon the 
fly-leaf I find the name of my landlord, with the 
script : " First in classics, Xmas '66. L. F. B." and 
on the cover, in grand style, two phoenixes, not 
one only as it is fabled, and over them " RUGBY 
SCHOOL." If the date were only contemporaneous 
with " Tom Brown," or Dr. Arnold, there would 
be added another employment for analogy. 

On the occasion of urging upon Congress the 
erection of the Saratoga monument, I had said 
that Saratoga was one of the pivotal battles of 
the world. I find Saratoga in this volume. It is 
headed by Bishop Berkeley's poetic " Star of 
Empire," and Lord Mahon's pregnant words : 
<4 that the surrender of the thirty-five hundred 
fighting men at Saratoga, had been so fruitful of 
results, that it not only changed the relations of 
mankind and the feelings of England toward the 
American colonies, but it modified for all time to 
come the connection between every colony and 
every parent state." Mentally, I made the com- 
ment which the recent excitement about Ireland 
suggested. What eventful connections have since 
grown out of the insurgence of the thirteen col- 


onies toward the vast colonial dependency of 
Great Britain ! 

Hanging on the wall in this suggestive library 
is a chart of the power of Great Britain. Every 
continent is represented. Her immense dominion 
is typified by various races pictured on the chart. 
Along with it, as the commentary, come to my 
mind the stirring words of Gladstone, as I heard 
them uttered at the Robert American College 
commencement in July, by a Celtic boy with a 
Bulgarian brogue, who recited the conclusion of 
the great oration on behalf of a statutory Parlia- 
ment and Home Rule for Ireland ! A pardonable 
patriotic pride in the college, and in the doctrine 
and in the contest at Saratoga, and even in the 
testy Englishman, General Gates, whom I never 
could admire, begat much toleration even toward 
the traitor, Benedict Arnold. For had he not, in 
disregard of orders, given his splendid personal 
courage to that pivotal battle, whose results the 
reluctant step-parent was all too slow to recognize, 
but which the world has not failed to honor ? 

It is one of the " Pleasures of Prinkipo" that in 
this library, and from Lord Byron's poetry and 
Michel de Montaigne's essays, I have taken fresh 
quaffs of nectared delight. Byron's fine appre- 
ciation of the East and Montaigne's scholar- 
ship, frankness and genius have filled up many 
golden hours and sped them with flying feet. 



Byron, more than any other poet, not excepting 
Lamartine, has disentangled the sensuous pleas- 
ure and historic appreciation of the Orient, and 
woven the many-tinted threads into robes of im- 
purpled texture. If his " Bride of Abydos " is 
silly, as a tale, its scenes of domestic seclusion, 
and its gorgeous pictures of water, sky and earth, 
diamonds, stars and flowers, never fail to be 
quoted by the young who repair hither to fill their 
golden urns of imagery, and by the old, who 
renew here their early dreams of luxuriant life. 

As a foil and contrast to this literature of the 
Orient, I happen upon a half-covered volume of 
Frankenstein. It was penned fifty years and more 
ago, when this sombre literature enthralled the 
literary world. But where now is the weird mon- 
ster of Mary Shelley's prolific imagination ? And 
yet, in this day of marvels in physical science, the 
creation of a human frame by human skill, and 
endowing it with the principle of life, may not 
seem as bold as it did in 1831. But as a figment 
of the brain, it is, as the author urges, of the same 
type as the " Iliad," the " Tempest," and " Paradise 
Lost." Its first scene is laid in the region of the 
frozen North ; but its bewildering magic emanates 
from the Orient. What Paracelsus and Albertus 
Magnus taught, are they not prefigured in the 
monstrous beings of the " Thousand and One 
Nights ? " The idea of constructing a being of gi- 


gantic mould and infusing into it the vital spark, 
together with the terrible Nemesis of the story, is 
of the Orient, all complete. Beside, is not the 
Orient the home of the Magi ? Have not the 
fire worshippers made its sacred fires perennial 
and poetical ? Even at this day, the naphtha of 
Baku has its religious associations, to which the 
muse of Moore gave melody. How small the 
world of fact and fancy is ! How near akin are 
the delusions of the past to the science of the 
present ! Aye, even in these library shelves of 
Prinkipo, I gaze with awe, not unmixed with 
wonder, upon two books bound in bloody red, 
which connect my daily diplomatic duty with the 
poetry of the past and the rites of the Parsee. 
The next chapter will elucidate the relation. 

It would fill a volume were I to recount 
the rich variety of the thesaurus of the library 
which came to us with our villa. Here on one 
shelf is Sir John Lubbock's " Origin of Civiliza- 
tion " and " Primeval Man." In strange juxtapo- 
sition I find the complete works of Moliere. On 
opening the latter I find this commendation by his 
editor: "Deux species sont passes, dit avec raison 
M. Bagou, et nous at tendons encore" Moliere's 
genius of comedy has had more than his 
two centuries, but wherever the keen French 
wit predominates, as it does in the Orient, his 
works are perused with much riant enthusiasm. 


Alongside of Herschel's " Physical Geography," 
with its revelations of our earth and seas, lands 
and minerals, snows and rain falls, caloric and 
magnetism, I find a strange volume whose title is 
"Inquire Within Upon Everything." On inquir- 
ing, I find an interesting discussion which vindi- 
cates the letter H in the English vocabulary, or 
rather its omission, as being a correct mode of 
speech. In fact, this book answers all queries 
from the killing of vermin to the style of a frock; 
from the selection of a dining-table to the carving 
of a turkey or the decoration of a room. 

Here in one corner of the library I find, 
"Boner Hunting Chamois in the Alps;" in 
another place, " A Golden Treasury of Lyrics." 
"Zadkiel's Astrology" astonishes, by its prox- 
imity to " The Chemistry of Common Life." 
Macaulay and the " Waverley Novels" are 
snugly hid along with Thucydides and Plutarch. 
Paley shakes hands with our own Maury, and 
" Henry Esmond" with Homer, ^Eschines and the 
whole cohort of Greeks. Here is Carey's Gradus ! 
It takes us up the heights of Olympus. But is 
there anything in the library pertinent to my own 
life in the East ? Yes : " Chesterfield's Letters to 
his Son." I open it at page 301. It gives me ad- 
vice for a most pressing emergency at the Porte. 
"Why is it," it asks, "that negotiators have 
always been the politest and best bred men in the 


world in company?" Ahem! Then he proceeds 
to say : 

" For God's sake, never lose view of these two, 
your capital objects : bend everything to them, try 
everything by their rules, and calculate everything 
for their purposes. What is peculiar to these two 
objects is, that they require nothing but what 
one's own vanity, interest and pleasure would 
make one do independently of them. If a man 
were never to be in business, and always to lead a 
private life, would he not desire to please and to 
persuade ? S.o that in your two destinations your 
fortune and figure luckily conspire with your van- 
ity and your pleasures. Nay more ; a foreign 
minister, I will maintain it, can never be a good 
man of business if he is not an .agreeable man of 
pleasure too. Half his business is done by the 
help of his pleasures ; his views are carried on, 
and perhaps best, and most unsuspectedly, at 
balls, suppers, assemblies, and parties of pleasure ; 
by intrigues with women, and connections insensi- 
bly formed with men, at those unguarded hours of 

" These objects now draw very near you, and you 
have no time to lose in preparing yourself to meet 
them. You will be in Parliament almost as soon 
as your age will allow, and I believe you will have 
a foreign department still sooner, and that will be 
earlier than ever anybody had one." 


With one or two exceptions, which I will not 
notice, I have endeavored to practice, and not 
without some success, these Chesterfieldian pre- 
cepts. In fact, it was in pursuance of their sug- 
gestions that I was enabled to accomplish what 
the President was pleased to commend in his last 
Message, in behalf of American interests at the 
Porte. It was because of this accomplishment- 
thanks to Lord Chesterfield that I concluded to 
return home, after diplomacy did not, and as my 
new service does not, require so many and such 
peculiar sacrifices to the graces. 




I CAME to take an interest in the matters indi- 
cated by the head of this chapter because my 
official duty required me to examine into certain 
petroleum frauds on our trade in the classic isle of 
Mitylene. This interest was spurred by some 
happy coincidences, partly literary and partly 
.social. Thus it happened to " concatenate ac- 

Twenty-six years ago I wandered into a store 
near my law office in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was 
kept by the Messrs. James. I opened an exquisite 
edition of Thomas Moore's " Lalla Rookh." That 
book, the dandyism of all literary Orientalism, was 
en toilette in gold and ruby ruby predominant. 
I read the dedication to Samuel Rogers. When 
I opened the same volume, the other day, in 
my library in Prinkipo, the " Pleasures of Mem- 
ory " returned. I recalled, by a system of mne- 
monics, my Cincinnati experience as a young 
lawyer or, rather, as an inchoate lawyer, then 
studying how Law limped after Justice in vain ; 



for I am not aware that in the three decades 
or more since, Law has overtaken her healthier 
sister. Many a time since I have seen Law stum- 
ble, just as she was about to join hands with Jus- 
tice and assist the latter to bear the scales aloft. 

Eheu ! Posthume ! How the years have glided 
away since that morning of my life, when " Lalla 
Rookh " was one of the sources of my inspiration, 
and before petroleum had lighted my student's 
lamp in this Eastern capital. 

During one of the damp, foggy, gloomy days of 
the past winter, a stranger from New York was 
announced. I hastened to the reception room, 
and while awaiting him I picked up, by way of 
passing the time, that very volume of " Lalla 
Rookh." It has followed the author around this 
planet and gives much comfort by its sensuous 
imagery and impearled ideas. But on this oc- 
casion this beauteous work was all aglow with its 
ruby and gold. It lay next to a terrific volume 
called the " Region of Eternal Fire," dressed like 
Mephisto himself, and sporting gold-leaf all over 
its diabolic cover. It was Marvin's account of a 
journey to the petroleum regions of the Caspian 
in 1883. The book, its cover, and contents de- 
served the sinister title. 

But what has the Nourmahal to do with these 
subterranean deviltries ? This much : That the 
place in " Lalla Rookh " upon which I happened 







in my momentary vagary gives a description of 

Ivan's outlawed men the worshippers of fire ! It 

locates them near Yezd's eternal mansion of 

" Where aged saints in dreams of heaven expire ; 
From Baku, and those fountains of blue flame 
That burn into the Caspian." 

To this verse there is an annotation which in- 
dicates the historic facts to which Marvin alludes 
in his practical observations viz., that about 
Baku, from early times, the sun and fire worship- 
pers abided and that they kept illuminated the fires 
with vestal vigilance for 3000 years on a sacred 
mountain near Yezd, called Ater Quedah. He 
was reckoned unfortunate who died away from 
that mountain. Another note to Moore's verse 
says : " When the weather is hazy on the Caspian 
shore the springs of naphtha on an island near 
Baku boil up higher, and the naphtha often takes 
fire on the surface of the earth and runs in a 
flame into the sea, to a distance almost incred- 

This edition of " Lalla Rookh" was of 1849, and 
the notes were by the author as early as 1817 ; so 
that Baku, now so famous, and to Americans so 
troublesome and interesting as a competitor, is 
not a new place as a fiery resort or as a theme for 
literary exercise. 



The odd coincidence of the proximity of these 
volumes on my table, and the other fact that I 
opened the poetic volume by chance upon the 
verse and notes quoted, gave rise to a new marvel. 
It was this : My visitor was an agent of the Amer- 
ican Standard Oil Company ! He was en route to 
Baku ! He was about to sound the depths, vol- 
ume, and values of these remarkable wells ! This 
visitor was the shrewdest man I met in the East. 
He was looking after his business and the new 
light of Asia with a watchful eye on Baku. He 
intended to go there. He did go. He returned 
and reported. He did not say much. He was 
writing it all up for his employers. I propose to 
do a little of this for my readers, since it combines 
the utilities of light and life with the elegance of 

To do this I must draw upon Marvin's " Eter- 
nal Fire." Marvin is not a slow, infrequent, or 
unknown w r riter. He is voluminous. He was the 
correspondent of the London Morning Post on 
many a well fought journalistic field. He it was 
who wrote the " Russians at Merv and Herat," 
" The Russian Advance Toward India," " Merv, 
the Queen of the World," " Reconnoitring Cen- 
tral Asia," etc. He captured the Caspian, if ever 
man did, by way of penetrating its physical and 
political secrets. 

Mr. Marvin's new Inferno is the result of 


much research, for he has exhausted the literature 
of petroleum as well as its physical phenomena. 
That literature is by no means limited to " Lalla 
Rookh." Names that give one the lockjaw to 
pronounce, such as Gulishambamp, Markooriskopf, 
Ogloblin, Mendeleiff, Gospodin, Polelika, and 
others have given to the petroleum industry of 
Baku and of Russia much chronicle and many 
statistics. Yet Mr. Marvin's book seems to have 
rather a tendency toward a high appraisement of 
the Messrs. Nobel and their great genius for engi- 
neering, and properties in oil. I could not rise 
from its perusal without that impression. 

The engravings in the book of the Nobel works 
are interesting, but I should say that Nobel drew 
something in favor of Marvin for them. But are 
not these enterprising Swedi'sh men worthy of all 
that is said and pictured ? The brothers Nobel 
have dabbled in dynamite and triumphed in tor- 
pedoes ; but their enterprise at Baku in laying 
down the first pipe-line and by replacing barrels 
with cistern steamers in fact, by organizing an 
oil fleet and making communication over the shal- 
lows of the Volga by tank-cars, with depots over 
Russia, and soon to be extended elsewhere is a 
romance worthy of celebration by pen and pencil, 
a romance greater than that of which Tom Moore 
sings. How the Nobel business is carried on, all 
for cash, how the brothers have passed crises in 


the financial world, how they have harnessed the 
Russian government to their petroleum-car, how 
their business has become nearly a monopoly by 
reason of their peculiar mechanical skill and ap- 
pliances, is it not written by Marvin in a most fas- 
cinating manner ? Whether you consider the ma- 
terial wonder described by Major-General Gold- 
sword in 1870, when he saw natural petroleum gas 
fires which had been flaring more than 2 500 years ; 
or whether igniting in the furnaces of a hundred 
steamers on the Caspian and Volga ; or the enor- 
mous subterranean reservoirs which science here 
locates ; or the great ridge beneath the Caspian, 
from shore to shore and beneath the Caucasus, 
from sea to sea ; whether this useful element be 
found beneath the barren steppes or under the 
mountain chains, or whether it rises in columns 
like the geysers of Iceland or the Yellowstone ; 
whether, as at Findlay, Ohio, or at Allegheny 
City, Pennsylvania, it is made to move machinery 
and illuminate great workshops ; whether its 
streams come forth in iridescent beauty the iris 
out of whose black unfragrance comes the pig- 
ments for the painting of my lady's robe or her 
maid's frock ; whether it exudes from the sodden 
soil or is used for watering the dusty streets of 
Baku ; or whether it weaves by locomotion and 
the swift-flying shuttle of interchange a new civil- 
ization, it is at once a theme for the muse of 


Moore and the speculations of the bourse. If it 
be true, as is alleged, that a single man pricked 
the earth near Baku and wasted 50,000,000 or 
100,000,000 gallons of good oil enough to supply 
and light London for years then poetry has lost 
its license, and should turn over its office to a 
tenth muse, which I christen the " Muse of 
Mechanism," to sing in oily numbers these natural 
glories and humanities of the earth. 

Outside of the mercenary view of this burning 
question, it may be stated that the Parsee still 
lives ; but fuel to feed his sacred fire is now an 
expensive item. Yet it must be supplied when- 
ever a new temple is dedicated. Sixteen different 
kinds of wood, in one thousand and one pieces of 
fuel, are required to obtain the sacred flame. This 
is afterwards fed with sandal-wood, and the cost 
of the process averages $7500. There are still 
three large and thirty-three small fire-temples at 
Bombay ! They are by no means inexpensive. 

The fire worshipper is no longer paramount in 
Persia. Zoroaster no longer teaches his peculiar 
doctrine. Nine-tenths of the Persians are Ma- 
hometans. There has been a perpetual perse- 
cution of those who remain faithful to the fiery 
tenets of their forefathers. For twelve hundred 
and fifty years the Guebres (the name from 
which the Gaiour, or infidel, is taken) have sur- 
vived. They pay their devotion to the life-giving 


principle of the sun. They do not worship the sun. 
They worship God, its creator ; the Being who 
is supreme over fire and light. The Guebres are 
an honest race. They are of the pure Persian 
stock, when Persia was of some account in the 
conduct and history of the world. Most of the 
Parsees reside in India. Their homes are in 
Bombay and in Calcutta. Out of the hundred 
thousand who survive, only about seven thousand 
are left in Persia. Their worship is singularly 
beautiful, symbolical, and not at all unworthy of 
the great demonstration which nature makes in 
and around Baku. It is by no means unworthy 
of the auroral splendors of the dawn when its most 
prominent observances hail the coming day ! 
That people which does not enjoy light and fails 
to illumine, wherever and whenever nature makes 
provision, are the laggards in the human race. 
The fire worshippers love the light and their ways 
are not evil ! 

Sometimes these fountains of naphtha create a 
volcano whose sudden outbursts quite swamp the 
little buildings around. It is not a volcano of fire 
so much as of hot mud. Some time ago there 
was an explosion about ten miles from Baku, and 
a column of fire shot up three hundred and fifty 
feet high. The country was illuminated. The heat 
was perceptible miles away. Little damage was 
done, for there was no wind, The volume of 


muddy liquid thrown up was estimated in Russian, 
which I cannot interpret, except by the vague 
data that it spread itself over more than a square 
mile, and to a depth of from seven to fourteen 

David A. Wells, in his new book called " A 
Study of Mexico," regards the kerosene lamp as 
one of the motors of civilization in Mexico, only 
next after the railroad. In urging the reciprocity 
treaty with America he indicates how a bright, 
new, little kerosene lamp became to him the most 
remarkable and interesting object of importation 
from the United States to that country. It was 
to him " remarkable and interesting, because 
neither the man nor his father, possibly since the 
world to them began, had ever before known any- 
thing better than a blazing brand as a method for 
illumination at night, and had never had either 
the knowledge, the desire, or the means of obtain- 
ing anything superior. But at last," says Mr. 
Wells, " through contact with and employment 
on the American railroad, the desire, the op- 
portunity, the means to purchase, and the knowl- 
edge of the simple mechanism of the lamp, had 
come to this humble, isolated Mexican peasant ; 
and out of the germ of progress thus spontane- 
ously, as it were, developed by the wayside, may 
come influences more potent for civilization and 
the elevation of humanity in Mexico than all that 


church and state have been able to effect within 
the last three centuries." 

The same may be said, with even more empha- 
sis, about our petroleum interests in Turkey. The 
petroleum can and lamp play a double purpose ; 
the one as a tin bucket and the other as a vessel 
for the fluid which gives so much comfort to 
the dark places of the East. It supplies, in fact, 
the lamp of Aladdin, from whose friction sprang 
rare and wonderful opulence. 

It is generally supposed that Job was a rich 
man. Perhaps many of his boils and broils came 
out of the fact that he was an opulent liver. Con- 
sidering the land of Uz as we now find it, one 
would suppose there w r as very little wealth in it. 
We have not a very clear idea of it. Job must 
have worked several gangs of slaves on fruitful 
ground in the desert. He had some connection 
with the petroleum industry of the Euphrates, 
although it has never been thoroughly acknowl- 
edged. Job acquired his large fortune from the 
uncertain element of the petroleum wells. Some- 
times they gave him abundance ; at other times, 
like the wells around Pittsburgh, they gave him 
nothing. There can be little doubt that when his 
wells caught fire, it spread fire on the prairie, and 
not only destroyed houses, and flocks, and children, 
but reduced Job to a considerable amount of pro- 
fanity and scalding sores. Whatever may be said, 


however, about this remarkable man, it is very 
certain that before his time many years before 
his time the Dead Sea, the Asphaltum Mare, 
was the result of a vast eruption of which oil 
was the principal ingredient. Its surface is below 
other sea levels. The earth's crust must have 
been rather thin there, so easily was it ruptured. 
Otherwise the five cities of the plain might to-day 
be rivals of Chicago or Birmingham. The Dead 
Sea is very salty. In boring for petroleum saline 
springs are often tapped. But for the tap in the 
crust, when Lot fled from Sodom, Jordan might 
not have been deflected from its course, and 
Canaan might still have been a land for the 
sacred lyric muse beyond all the music of the 
Methodist or the rhapsodyof the Russian devotee. 
There is no doubt that petroleum bubbles up to 
the surface of the Dead Sea and that the sun's 
rays solidify it. This is asphaltum the purest 
bitumen. It is known in Egypt as the element by 
which the mummies were made up for immor- 
talization. Herodotus (I seldom quote him with- 
out thinking of his title as " the father of liars ") 
has made several remarks about petroleum. I 
will not quote, for fear I may be challenged to 
the proof. I turn to Plutarch, who had a sense 
of veracity. He confirms Herodotus and we will 
take Herodotus into our confidence for this 
occasion only. Plutarch describes certain re- 


markable phenomena in which fire is an element. 
In fact, the oil to which he calls attention was 
burned in the ancient lamp. It was known 
to the Romans as Sicilian oil. From Persia 
to Italy, from Hafis to Horace, the lamp 
which gave its sweetness to love and its glory to 
the Augustine age was fed from the burning 
spring of the Orient the same wonderful phe- 
nomena of which Zoroaster was the prophet, and 
the Parsees the devotees. 

It is not my purpose to make a disquisition 
upon petroleum. The genius of man is penetrat- 
ing the crust of the earth in its every part ; and 
from the shores of the Caspian to China and 
Japan, from Formosa to the Punjab, aye even out 
of the lost Atlantis, in the Bermudas, the Canadas 
and Pennsylvania, this element of fire leaps to 
the surface at the touch of the diviner's wand. 

It is, however, to the United States that this 
industry owes its highest refinement and per- 
fection of distribution. The carrying of oil from 
the springs to the refineries in pipes, over thou- 
sands of miles and from hundreds of reservoirs ; 
the genius by which through chemistry this oil 
is purified ; the immense Standard Oil Company, 
with its capital of twenty odd millions ; our ex- 
ports, which from New York alone are over forty 
millons of barrels, nearly all refined, call up an 
image of prosperity in an olden trade. 


One drawback to the use of petroleum has been 
recently developed. It is very doubtful, judging 
by the terrible explosion recently on the " Petri- 
ana," one of the tank steamers, whether or not it is 
possible to work the petroleum vessel. The crew 
having taken naked lights into a tank-room which 
had been somewhat strained in a gale, the gas was 
fired. Great loss of life ensued, and the inference 
is that if petroleum is ever used for fuel in loco- 
motives and ships, there will be plenty of accidents 
after this pattern. This trouble is likely to be ob- 

Whether you consider this petroleum develop- 
ment in the nebulous glimmer of ancient and 
religious history, or in the blaze of modern science 
applied to labor-saving machinery, is it not marvel- 
lous ? Whether it make out of the Caspian a 
grand commerce and revolutionize and perhaps 
rescue people who have, like the Armenians, lost 
their nationality and home, this marvel may 
again be, as it was to ancient Greek and Roman 
navigators, a Pharos arresting attention and giv-* 
ing safety to the almost despairing barks of human 
hope and happiness. Is it therefore wonderful 
that the ancient world, seeking a religion with 
mysterious rites, should find in this awful and 
unknown element of eternal fire its sacred 
symbol and worship ? The Greek had his Vul- 
can, or Hephaestus ; but the Persian, with like 


aspiration, made fire not merely the emblem 
of the divine intelligence, but of God himself ! 
The Jews connected fire with Jehovah. The 
burning bush revealed their God. A sacred flame 
burned unceasingly in the temple. When, there- 
fore, from the soil or from the fissures of the lime- 
stone of Baku the gas issued, it became a light 
through the labyrinths of devotion into the un- 
seen world. 

When Moses was a child, a thousand years be- 
fore Christ, the disciples of Zoroaster made pil- 
grimages to Baku. Its sacred soil was known to 
the Saracens as early as A.D. 600. The Parsees 
here worshipped until the conquering iconoclastic 
Moslem, with his one ineffable, invisible Allah, 
destroyed the temples of fire and the illusions of 
the Magi. As late as the twelfth century pilgrim- 
ages of the fire worshippers were permitted under 
Persian conduct. Since that time we have ac- 
counts of this strange fire, and its utilities in giv- 
ing light, in slacking lime and in cooking victuals. 

Petroleum is the " Seneca oil " of our own In- 
dians. They used it for medical purposes. " The 
Russians drink it," says a writer, ''as a cordial!" 
What will not a Russian drink, regardless of odor 
or vigor? It was good for "sore heads;" for 
scorbutic pains, gout, and cramps. It was early 
an article of commerce. It had its factories. But 
never until lately, except perhaps in some of the 



lost arts, has it been used as a motor of machinery 
and a factor of progress. While it has flamed 
about Baku, empires have risen, ripened, and rot- 




THERE is one portion of the Bosphorus on the 
Asiatic side, known as Kandilli. The whole har- 
bor of Constantinople is in full view from this 
point. From time immemorial it has been called 
the place "gifted with lanterns." Just below it, 
is the modern Turkish village of Beylerbey. 
From one village of Turkey and its quiet life you 
may learn of all. Here are the houses and cot- 
tages, the little mosque, the bay- trees, and the 
cemetery. Yonder is the good Imaum, the Han- 
oum to be respected, and the Pasha in all his dig- 
nity. There is the country bumpkin at his 
marriage, too bashful to venture through the 
midst of the young girls of the village to fetch 
away his bride according to the usual custom. 
Sometimes, but rarely, you see a sottish son or 
wild daughter who furnishes the topic of multitu- 
dinous gossip for the many mothers-in-law. That 
street Arab is eating simits the ring-shaped 
bread with sesame seed upon its shining surface. 



Here, in short, are all the ups and downs of hum- 
ble fortune ; but among them all is preserved the 
beautiful Oriental custom of taking home to the 
family the evening presents. 

I have a special memory of Beylerbey, not so 
much, indeed, of its charming environments, as of 
a brief interview I once had there with a royal 
personage. He was the last of an ancient line a 
prisoner of state ; alas ! confined by the decree of 
the Sultan within the appanage of the palace 
demesne. What his offence or treason was I never 
sought to know. It makes me sad to think of 
him. It is not safe to become too familiar with 
such victims of Oriental despotism. I saw him 
but a few brief moments. I looked upon him ; 
and for this indiscreet curiosity alone I yes I, 
the Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipoten- 
tiary of the United States of America, came near 
forfeiting my existence. I had to run for my life 
to fly to my little launch, which was the only 
vessel in the harbor bearing our ensign at that 
time. Surely this ought to be a lesson to Con- 
gress, in respect of our decrepit navy ! Diplo- 
macy compelled me to pocket the indignity I suf- 
fered. Disagreeable as this incident was, it had 
its ludicrous aspect as the reader will see further 

Beylerbey was not always a place of confine- 
ment for prisoners of state. In ancient days it 


was a favorite pleasure retreat of the Byzantine 
emperors. It had then its famous Greek church, 
Chrysoxeramos of the golden tiles. When the 
Turks came they gave the place the name of 
"Joy Unceasing." It long remained the chosen 
residence of the Sultans, who preferred the Asiat- 
ic to the other side of the Bosphorus for the sum- 
mer season. It still retains much of its imperial 
enchantments and entanglements, as I found out 
on my first visit, but not with " unceasing joy." 

Among the several palaces on the eastern side 
of the Bosphorus are the palaces of Istavros, 
Chengel, Keui, Kouleh, and Kandilli, but the pal- 
ace of Beylerbey is the most beautiful and re- 
nowned of them all. It was built by Mahmoud 
II. for a summer residence. It rose like an ex- 
halation to sweetest music. It was planned in a 
dream, beneath the shadow of an Oriental moun- 
tain, in an hour of golden luxuriousness and in- 
dolence, and carried into execution during a fit 
of elegant caprice. 

When the beautiful Empress Eugenie visited 
the Orient at the opening of the Suez canal, the 
reigning Sultan, Abdul Aziz, went to many ex- 
cesses of magnificent courtesy, including the dedi- 
cation to her use of the Beylerbey palace. It was 
then completely refurnished. The upholstery was 
of velvet and satin. The decorations of the cham- 
ber of the Empress were copied from those in the 


Tuilleries. A magnificent caique, marvellous be- 
yond the dreams of Cleopatra, was built ex- 
pressly for Her Majesty. It had all the Oriental 
appointments and rich carvings in gold, while 
everything was ready to be served in European 
or Asiatic fashion to gratify her womanly and 
regal caprices. There were also special services, 
thoroughly Turkish, with all their environments. 
Upon the princely dining table there were rare 
silver services, Broussa silk napkins, embroidered 
with gold and silver, and golden dishes studded 
with turquoises, and everything to give Oriental 
taste and tone to the repast. The Sultanas act- 
ually drank champagne to the Empress' health. 
For the first time, these Mussulman ladies sipped 
the liquor forbidden by Mahomet. It made the 
young hilarious and the old happy. Singers and 
dancers gave variety to the regal welcome. The 
Empress learned to smoke cigarettes, perfumed 
with Orient odors. She had near her two charm- 
ing young women of the East, as interpreters and 
companions. One of them was Nazli Hanoum, 
a princess of Egypt, and grand-daughter of Me- 
hemet Ali. Her life since these joyous scenes 
has had its mournful experiences. One of these is 
associated with the writer. It came innocently 
enough from our courtesy to this fair Mahometan 
Albanian at Prinkipo, which led to certain illegal 
proceedings recorded in this volume. 


There is a kiosk, almost wholly of glass, at each 
end of the sea-wall, which protects the palace 
grounds of Beylerbey. The interior of each is 
furnished with a broad divan in blue and straw- 
colored satin. Behind the wall there are terraced 
gardens rising in tiers, one above another, where 
flowers and fountains abound. Upon the highest 
point of the grounds are the ostrich gardens ; and 
formerly there was a rare menagerie there. All 
the animals are gone except the ostriches and a 
lone tiger. I emphasize the tiger. Hereby hangs 
my tale. 

The palace is upon the lower terrace of the 
garden, not far from the Bosphorus. It is a 
building of three stories. It is of pure white 
marble. It is ornate in style. It is not palatial 
in extent, but it is a gem of Oriental architecture. 
The broad vestibule leads into a grand central 
chamber which is lighted from the roof. Here 
is a staircase of unequalled beauty and superb 
decoration. Marble columns support the galleries 
of the floors above. Walls, floor and ceiling are of 
marble. It the centre of the main hall is a grand 
fountain, with innumerable jets shooting their 
sheafs of silver with a murmurous music into the 
quiet air. 

From this central hall various rooms open. 
Here the Grand Duke Nicholas, after the treaty 
of San Stefano had relieved the city from Russian 



occupation, held high court and carnival, following 
the example of the Empress Eugenie. Here rat- 
tled and clanked over the marble pavements the 
spurs and sabres of the Russian officers. Here the 
then young Sultan, Abdul Hamid, came to make his 
courtesies to the Czar's representative. 

But of more vital interest to me than all these 
scenes of departed pomp and pageantry was the 
last remaining animal of the Sultan Abdul Aziz's 
menagerie. He was a royal Bengal tiger. I made 
my homage to his royalty as he couched and pant- 
ed in his confinement. " He was the sole relic of 
old Priam's pride ! " 

It is not unusual in the palaces around Con- 
stantinople to illustrate the parks and gardens 
with some very vivid pictures of natural history. 
The Sultan has within his grounds at Yildiz 
several aviaries of rare birds. He has a remarka- 
ble collection of pigeons, and, along with a small, 
but very select, menagerie, some 200 fine horses. 
These horses are exercised in a riding school where 
the Circassian guards sometimes exhibit their feats. 
His Majesty is accustomed to shoot wild fowl, 
which are decoyed to his little lakes within the 
palace enclosure. And, like other and more ultra- 
Oriental princes and emperors of the Tartar race, 
he occasionally summons for his recreation a 
sweet singer, or a conjuror, or a dwarf, or all -of 
these together ; but in their midst a young tiger, 


whose antics are more terrifying than harmful, is 
not unfrequently introduced for the gratification of 
the company, or the delight of the harem. 

In an excursion to the Bosphorus from our Isle 
of Prinkipo I had the honor of gallanting, under 
a special firman from the Sultan, a company of 
some twenty-five ladies and gentlemen. They 
were mostly of American nationality. After 
observing the wonderful riches of the treasury at 
Seraglio Point, with all its crowns, batons, arms, 
scimitars, robes of state and royal jewellery, and 
the usual touristic visit to Dolma Batche, the most 
beautiful palace in the world, our launch bore us 
across the Bosphorus to the palace of Beylerbey. 
Sauntering through its sylvan shades we come to 
the ostrich farm upon the lofty heights. They 
may be tame birds, but they show considerable 
fierceness when we observe them. No one ven- 
tures in their midst. But what most attracts our 
attention here is a cage, some forty by thirty feet, 
in which is confined the royal tiger. He is the 
prisoner to whom I have referred so touchingly. 
No doubt he has many strange graces and accom- 
plishments and, doubtless, some crimes to atone, 
but I am not sufficiently ''close to His Highness" 
to note his graces or vices. I keep a respectful 
distance, for his cage looks old and shaky. Its 
iron bars are suggestively slim. The tiger lies 
in a crouching attitude with eyes ablaze, as if 


intent on gratifying some carnivorous propensity. 
Some of the company playfully pitch pebbles at 
him to arouse him. I do not. I stand in the 
middle of the road. 

He does not notice the rest of the company. 
Evidently he desires to receive no one of less 
rank than a Plenipotentiary. Horresco refer ens ! 
In the twinkling of an eye, he springs, not at any 
of the company, but at the Envoy! In fact, this 
Oriental monarch would have the American Min- 
ister one with himself. No doubt he intended 
to do me a special honor, to take me into his 
embraces to fall upon my neck and hug me. 
But what would my democratic constituents think 
of such a submission to an autocrat? This selfish 
thought comes on me like a flash of light an in- 
spiration. I turn my back hurriedly on royalty. 
I throw diplomacy to the winds. I flee " the pre- 
sence " with a celerity and certainty that were never 
surpassed on the swiftest "star route" of the 
plains. When the company assembles at the 
palace below, to re-embark on the launch, I am 
told, amidst much hilarious chaffing, that I had out- 
stripped the swiftest flight of Mercury. But I 
maintain that in spite of the succulent two hun- 
dred and fifty pounds of our cavass, and other 
weighty persons present, including some unctuous 
females, the tiger showed a royal discrimination in 
picking out a Minister Plenipotentiary for his prey. 



" Afraid ? " What ! an American afraid of a royal 
personage? Never ! Besides I had no time for 
fear. "Undignified retreat?" Let me amend. 
It was not a " retreat." It was more like one of 
General Joe Lane's field evolutions, of Kansas 
fame. It was a swift countermarch in the face of 
the enemy, executed in the most dashing style to 
the rear ! 

I once came upon two grizzlies in California; 
they were in a cage. I never loved a fero- 
cious animal outside of a cage or menagerie. I 
have never seen any such in a state of nature, 
except a supposititious hyena in upper Egypt 
among the tombs, and a jackal between Jaffa 
and Jerusalem. I met the latter by moonlight 
alone, but I loved him not. It is not necessary 
to see the tiger in his lair to appreciate his 
moral qualities. I have talked with wild Kabyles 
in Algiers, and with officers of the British 
army from South Africa, and have heard them 
detail their lion-hunting adventures. 

One of the officers of the British Indian 
army told me a story worth repeating. It was 
about the famous Jaagt in the Island of Singa- 
pore. He was a man-eater ; I mean the Jaagt. I 
will let this son of Mars the officer relate his 
adventure in his own grandiose style, and with all 
its Brobdignagian proportions. He describes the 


tiger as running through the jungle away from 

" As soon as I saw " said the British officer, 
" his eyes burning like coals of fire, I knew he 
was the famous man-eater. He had a little child 
in his fangs, and, upon my honor, was about to 
leap over one of the pits, which are sometimes 
dug in the jungles, and^bear it off to his fastness 
among the rocks of the hills ! My first impulse 
was to open fire on the brute with my sixteen-shot 
revolving breech-loader rifle, but when I saw the 
child, I hesitated." 

Here I raise my hands in holy horror, and my 
eyes express the utmost concern as the officer 
resumes : 

"I hesitate," said he, "but a short time. I 
pick out a spot where the intermaxillary joins 
the temporal bone. I fire. The child drops un- 
harmed from the tiger's broken jaws ! It is one 
of the best shots of my life ! 

"This shot brings the ferocious animal to bay. 
I see the great gouts of blood, dropping from 
his jaws as he lashes his sides furiously with 
his royal tail ! He crouches for a spring. Is he 
not a royal specimen? His side shines in the 
sun like satin striped with burnished gold. I am 
almost dazzled with its brilliancy. I do not want 
to spoil such a trophy. I aim for his eye. I send 
a bullet into his brain, just as he makes his spring. 




He falls stone dead at my feet ! I restore the 
child, a beautiful boy, to its distracted mother who 
lives in a bungalow, near by. Upon my honor, 
the sight of the lady's joy and gratitude over her 
rescued child almost unmans me. She is the 
wife of a huzzar officer. I order one of my 
retinue to remove the hide from the slain animal. 
I present it to her a few days afterwards for a rug. 
I would not have taken a thousand pounds for it." 

But this was not the end of the gallant officer's 
tiger story. After a moment of suspicious silence 
on our part, he said : 

" Do you know, gentlemen, I have some- 
times been slightly embarrassed at the suspicion 
with which those unfamiliar with life in the 
jungle receive our accounts of its adventures? 
Now, mark the sequel. Twenty years after this 
incident, I was in the smoking saloon of one of 
the Peninsula and Oriental steamers, with a lot of 
officers and civilians on their way out to India. 
We were whiling away the evening, comparing 
our hunting reminiscences. Among other exploits, 
I recounted this adventure in Singapore. Just as 
I finished it, a little ensign whom I had noticed 
listening to the story with strange excitement of 
manner, springs from his seat with uncontrollable 
emotion. He runs to me. He throws himself into 
my arms. He exclaims : 

" ' General ! general ! I am that rescued child, 



and the lady is my mother ! She cherishes that 
tiger robe as the chief of her choicest treasures ! 
Oh ! my brave, brave, preserver ! Have I found 
you at last ?' If you can credit it, there was not 
a dry eye in the party." 

I relate the brave officer's story, not alone for 
its own interest, but in order that its moral shall 
maintain the veracity of my own tiger tale. It is 
with great reluctance that I tell it. I would not 
be discredited. Still I have a suspicion that that 
officer is a lineal descendant of Ananias and Sap- 
phira; and that the young ensign displayed fine 
histrionic talent. 

Nearly every one in his callow youth has a par- 
tiality for an animal. Some take to a horse, some 
to a squirrel, some to a dog, some to a parrot and 
some to a canary. My partiality was always for a 
cat. There is something in the affectionate nature 
of the cat, whose purring leads one unconsciously 
and gradually on toward a tender regard for its 
congener the tiger! In visiting the menagerie, I 
always look first for the tiger's cage. Look into 
any book upon vertebrated animals at the figure 
of the tiger ! You will see it pictured as a model 
of strength and grandeur. The ancients said that 
the peacock was the most beautiful among birds 
and the tiger among animals. Where is the ani- 
mal of its size that can leap so easily as the tiger, 
four times its own length ? It is said while its 


physiognomy is far from fierce and, unlike the 
lion, is of a placid and pleasing air, that no cor- 
rection can terrify, and no indulgence tame it. 
But it is erroneous to suppose that the tiger is un- 
tamable. Why should not any feline be tamable ? 
The cat is the most domestic of animals. Shake- 
speare calls it the "harmless necessary cat." 
Augustus, the Roman emperor, kept a tame tiger, 
and Claudius had four of them at a time, as a 
royal pleasure. This fact is verified by a beauti- 
ful mosaic, discovered near the arch of Gallicius 
in Rome. Kean, the tragedian, possessed a puma. 
It is a fierce feline. It followed him about as 
docile as a dog. Sarah Bernhardt has a young 
cougar as her playmate ! I should prefer them 
when quite young. 

It was the custom of the early emperors in 
Byzantium to have a tame tiger near them. The 
fakirs of Hindostan have the secret of making 
tigers as tractable as kittens. But after such kit- 
tens come to the age of discretion, I w r ould not 
play with them, if I were a fakir. As a general 
rule, I would not advise either emperor or fakir 
to be too familiar with the tiger. Like other 
specimens of royalty, its favor is fickle. It has 
the trick of its ancestry. Through caressing, it 
may be tamed for a time, but very few people 
either in or outside of India would go its security 
to keep the peace. 


In Asia the type of royalty is the tiger. In 
ancient Rome, the symbol of empire was the 
eagle. In France, it is a rooster. Is it not Emer- 
son who says that these symbols of strength are 
selected from the predatory kingdom ? It may not 
be generally known, but it is true, that the beaver 
was proposed in America as the emblem of our 
hardworking, industrious and sagacious people ; 
but the beaver was laughed out of our national 
crest. In its place was substituted a bald-headed 

Not being able to account for the tigerish pro- 
pensity exhibited toward me at Beylerbey by 
anything that I had ever done to the animal, for 
I always defer to him, even in a menagerie, by 
taking off my hat before his cage, at a respectful 
distance, it at last occurred to me that I had 
never sufficiently atoned for a bit of school-boy 
composition. Its theme was " The Tiger." I 
cannot fully recall its tenor, but it did not do 
justice to the magnificent savagery and superlative 
strength of his nature. I simply said that it was 
an animal three feet high and eight feet long. 
This was unjust. Had not Buffon seen one in 
the East Indies, fifteen feet long? This, how- 
ever, included the tail. " Allowing" says the 
naturalist, " four feet for that, it must have been 
eleven feet from the tip of the nose to the inser- 
tion of the tail." Goldsmith saw one in the 


Tower nine feet long. I am now satisfied, from a 
hasty glance in the cage at Beylerbey, that the 
tiger is at least twenty-five feet long and seven- 
teen feet high ! It is announced in books, that 
he has a yellow hide, and an average of some 
twenty-five very black stripes. I am now satisfied 
that the hide is of a sanguinary red and that its 
ebony stripes may be counted by the hundred. 
In my composition I related how it was the object 
of sportive expeditions in Bengal ; that the hunt- 
ers go forth, armed with rifles, in a houdah, on the 
backs of trained elephants to kill the tiger ; and 
I have never since disassociated the elephant from 
a tiger. The general opinion is, that the tiger 
springs upon the elephant to reach the hunter. 
I did not question its correctness in my speedy 
movement down the hill of Beylerbey. My tiger 
seemed to have elephantine proportions. As the 
Irishman said of the elephant it had a tail at both 
ends of the animal. My movement at that par- 
ticular juncture outdid any latter-day toboggan 
slide. It gave rise to an excess of specific levity, 
from my companions ; but I gave to the retreat 
all my specific gravity. It was accelerated by a 
wild scream from the animal, more horrid than the 
roar of the lion : tigrides indomitce, rugiuntque 
leones. I had yielded to the indomitable. Is it 
Byron, or some one else, who says : " There is a 
pleasure in the pathless woods." I never enjoyed 


myself in palatial grounds so much as I did on my 
retreat from the caged animal at Beylerbey ; for I 
went down through the terraced groves regard- 
less of paths. I did not retreat before an ordi- 
nary, unrenowned beast. No ! I learn that this 
is the identical tiger referred to in a volume by 
Lieutenant Greene of the United States Army. 
He saw it in 1878, after the Russian war. He 
speaks of it as "a far-famed tiger of great beauty 
and wonderful size." So that this hero of the jungle 
is not unknown to literature. How often has he 
avoided the poise of the spear in his native home ! 
How often has he leaped upon the Jumbos of the 
jungle ! Of this there is no record. It is said 
that death and the gods are shod so softly that 
their tread is silent. The paw of the tiger has 
death beneath its velvet. But when I fled from 
his paw I took courage from this comforting 
verse about the Pale Horse and his rider: 

" . poisoned with a kitten's claw, 

The man escaped the tiger's jaw ! " 

Tiger-hunting was always a favorite diversion 
with me in books. I have read Captain Shake- 
spear's "Wild Sports of India." I had followed 
him upon the elephant. I became as brave as a 
Shikarree up a tree, with a bullock below for a 
bait, and a "man-eater" crouching in the thicket 


but this was in a book ! I have swallowed 
many of the swelling 1 tales of the Nimrods of the 
British Indian army; and have blessed the intelli- 
gent lungoor-baboon, which warns other animals 
of the feline approach, by swinging with prehen- 
sile grasp from tree to tree, uttering much Simian 

The roar of the tiger and the trumpeting of the 
elephant give a resounding glory to the hunt of 
the tiger. The more distant these notes of battle 
to my ear, the better ! I was told in Northern 
Africa, by a Gascon resident, that the lion killers 
run little risk, as they take care to gorge the ani- 
mal with a calf or so before attacking him. In 
reading up the literature of the tiger, I am inclin- 
ed, from my experience at Beylerbey, to make a 
series of rules, nunc pro tune, for the governance 
of the tiger hunt, seriatim thus : 

RULE I. If the tiger be interrupted by the ap- 
proach of any other animal, do not try to shoot at 
the other beasts. How any hunter can coolly look 
at a tiger, selecting the best place in his" body for 
the bullet, is to me marvellous ; yet I have read of 
hunters scanning his withers and girth, locating his 
lung, liver and vertebrae, with as much sangfroid 
as if the burning of his optic coals were not vital 
with savagery. 

RULE II. Scan, with heed, the anatomy of the 
head, before going for the brain. 


RULE III. In the selection of a spot to which to 
tie a heifer as bait, find a place near a lofty and 
easily climbed tree. 

RULE IV. Do not forget to grease the trunk of 
the tree behind you as you climb up. 

RULE V. Approach the tiger, if at all, when it 
is sleeping. 

RULE VI. If this be not profitable, carry a vial 
of chloroform. This conquers the nervousness of 
the animal, but it requires more nerve for its ap- 
plication than some Nimrods possess. 

RULE VII. If your elephant meet a tiger and, 
being frightened, runs into a tree and upsets the 
houdah, do not stop to rearrange the elephant. 
Leave yourself for the nearest tree. Such a ti- 
ger is not worth a scent. Let him go ! 

RULE VIII. When you see a tiger in the gloam- 
ing sharpening his claws against a forest tree, see 
that your native aids go ahead to absorb his un- 
divided attention. They are not expensive. 

RULE IX. If you perceive the tiger to be dead, 
do not be in a hurry about skinning him. He 
has been known to punish, after death. I have 
read well authenticated cases of tigers whose aorta 
or cerebrum have been fatally shot ; but the tiger 
easily overcomes the vis inertice. 

RULE X. When you desire to sit on a damp 
mound in an Indian jungle, to watch for tigers, 
arm yourself with quinine balls. 


RULE XL When the tiger charges, as mine did 
at Beylerbey, with his ears back and his body al- 
most even with the ground, do not try to subdue 
him with a piercing glance of your own masterful 

RULE XII. If it be a tigress that charges, do 
not rely too much on the gentleness of her sex. 
She is not a cold blooded animal like the bear and 
she warms to her bloody work. 

RULE XIII. When you are advised by your 
Shikarree that the tiger is lying in a wide open 
space, where the grass is higher than your head, 
do not go into the high grass. There is peril in 
handling the gun under the circumstances. 

RULE XIV. If your gun is a repeater, be sure 
to carry more than one charge ; otherwise you 
cannot be safely regarded as having a battery with 
you for the assault which is necessary. 

RULE XV. Be sure that your gun has proper 
penetrating power ; for the tiger is a mass of 
sinew, muscle and bone. 

RULE XVI. Do not negotiate the tiger's skin 
prematurely ; for you may discover before you 
commence skinning that you have only tickled 
his hide with a non-lethal weapon. 

RULE XVII. In removing the tiger's skin, un- 
der the belief that he is dead, better commence at 
the tail, as many tigers have been known to re- 
vive at the other end, under the operation. 


28 3 

RULE XVIII. Do not attack the tiger without 
a breech-loader ; for if you should in your nervous- 
ness pour the powder in on top of the wad, you 
might obscure your vision of the tiger, and he 
would likely have an advantage, owing to his pe- 
culiar eyesight, enhanced after the manner of bur- 
glars, by prowling at night. In case of such ob- 
scuration, wait until a wind arises to blow off the 
smoke before renewing the attack. 

RULE XIX. Do not cultivate a mercenary 
spirit as the inspiration of a tiger-hunt. Although 
the Indian Government may offer a large reward 
for the skull of this ferocious beast, it is well to 
cultivate a disinterested spirit. Give all your 
mind to the sportive exhilaration. 

RULE XX. It is well to have at least twenty 
elephants in line before you charge on the jungle ; 
otherwise, the contest may be unequal. 

RULE XXI. When the tiger screams, it is well to 
consider it as an intimation that he has prepared 
his dinner and wishes to dine alone. 

RULE XXII. If you are surrounded by a tiger 
and a tigress and several cubs, and escape through 
what the East Indians call the " swearing " of a 
common monkey, remember to treat the monkey 
thereafter with respect. Do not, in addressing 
him, use the word " monkey." When you speak 
of or to him, call him the Semnopithecus Entellus. 

RULE XXIII. Inasmuch as the peacock is in- 



digenous to the forests of India where tigers most 
do congregate, and is a rival of the tiger for beauty 
of form and color, and besides is an ally of the 
monkey in warning other animals, including man, 
of the dangerous proximity of the enemy, speak 
of the .peacock with respect. Praise its melodious 
voice and dilate on its tail. Its vociferous 
" hauk ! " " hauk ! " should not be repeated in vain. 
It deserves recognition. These birds of Vanity 
and Juno are friends of mankind. They deserve 
recognition in a tiger country. 

RULE XXIV. If a superannuated jackal, who 
has been expelled from his pack, makes its famil- 
iar yell, look out for the tiger! It is his lackey. 
It feeds upon his leavings. 

RULE XXV. When chasing the tiger, and find- 
ing him in full retreat,, if he stops, as he some- 
times will, to tear up the tufts of grass hilariously 
to clean his nails, raise the banner of non-interven- 
tion as an American gentleman, and quote Horace 
ad unguem. 

RULE XXVI. If you have enough elephants in 
your retinue to carry some coal-oil tar, it would be 
a matter of safety to agglutinate the tiger's eyes 
and ears, for that operation has the same effect on 
a tiger as tarring and feathering on an unhappy 
human wretch, where Judge Lynch holds court. 

RULE XXVII. If your company is noisy 
enough with their cries, drums, cymbals and 


28 5 

other clangorous music, retire from the hunt. You 
may thereby soften, if not frighten, the ferocity 
out of the tiger. 

As a final suggestion. After you have him 
thoroughly dead, singe his whiskers ! Otherwise 
he will haunt you. I need not say that my ex- 
perience at Beylerbey was of similar import. I 
was, and am still, haunted by this animal. In my 
dreams I picture him in every attitude crouching, 
standing, and fighting with fang and claw, as a 
royal animal whose only type in the human family 
is found in such scourges as Genghis Khan, or 
Timour, the Lame Tartar. 

I return to Prinkipo after this jaunt more or 
less timid about animals, especially the " felinae." 
This timidity is increased by an adventure with 
a watch-dog in our villa. He has returned and 
finds us as new occupants. As a good dog he 
resents our tenancy. He bites the tenant. 

Our front gate is not latched. It is pushed 
gently open and a dog bounds in. I am in the 
arbor with my wife. The gardener rushes in to 
catch the dog. But the dog has only come to his old 
home. He is likely cross by reason of his exile. 
We had stipulated that he should be taken away 
from the villa. The cook and the maid said he 
would not bite. They gave him something to eat 
while we collected around him. The cook said : 

" Why don't you caress him, and he will soon 
know you." 


I venture to do so. In a moment he snaps 
savagely, but happily the stiff shirt wristbands 
and doubled up sleeve of my woollen undershirt 
take the grip of the teeth. Only a slight scratch 
appears on the wrist, without breaking the skin. 
The indentation of the teeth is exquisitely shown 
on the stiff wristband. He is no apprentice in 
the art of printing this dog. 

I resort to the library for consolation. I peruse 
Buff on, Jardine and Goldsmith. At last I find 
consolation in Aristophanes who, in speaking of 
another wild beast, advises in his comic vein 
to have nothing to do with such creatures ; and 
especially, to "let the tigress suckle her own 

As a sportsman, in the literature of tiger-hunt- 
ing, I close this chapter with a regrettable an- 
nouncement. The famous Parsee tiger slayer, 
Hormusjee Eduljee Kotewal, has just died in a 
Bombay hospital from the effects of "a mauling 
by a cheetah." Ah ! had he been a good Parsee ; 
had he carried with him a bottle of naphtha from 
Baku, or a jug of coal tar from Oil City, how 
easily he could have subdued the cheetah ! The 
Bhandsa State would not now be in tears over the 
death of its brave forest inspector. He died game. 
His record is high. He shot, during life, a hun- 
dred tigers. Peace to all their ashes ! 




SOMETIMES I add a volume to my repertory, 
fresh from the mint of London or Paris, which 
is * perused under conditions of indolence and 
seclusion. One of these volumes, which held me 
by its fascination and glitter of style, its wealth of 
research and strangeness of learning was Flaubert's 
" Salambo." It opens the mystic chambers of 
Phoenician life. It gives new glimpses of the 
Commercial Republic in her pristine days. It 
presents the strange religious rites of Asia and 
Africa in their wildest orgies. It displays Car- 
thage when she was the rival of Rome, in an 
aspect to make others weep with Marius over her 
ruins. The volume is very realistic, especially 
when read in sight of those Bithynian shores 
where the merchant princes of Carthage once 
traded, and where their conquering triremes often 
swept through the waters of the Propontis. 

" Salambo " is the bewitched and beauteous 
daughter of the great Hamilcar. Her counterpart 
one may see at the Greek church or at the scala 



every day here at Prinkipo. I confess to a dis- 
appointment in the volume, however, for the hero 
of my youthful enthusiasm, Hannibal, the .famous 
son of HamilcaF Barca, is barely mentioned. 
True, he was but a youth when the stirring scenes 
of the war with the mercenaries, of which the 
book treats, was in progress. Still the intrepid 
boy is sufficiently outlined for the reader to see 
him as " father to the man." 

Hamilcar was often put to straits to save Hanni- 
bal from the demands of the priests of Moloch. 
They sought their human victims among the sons 
of the eminent. The learned novelist makes the 
teacher and guardian of the boy come from that 
mysterious shore which is peopled with turtles, 
which sleep under the palms on the dunes. The 
faithful Iddibal enters the presence of the anxious 
father to render an account of his stewardship over 
the boy. " No one yet suspects ? " The old guar- 
dian swears that the mystery has been kept. " I 
teach him to' hurl the javelin and to drive a team." 
" He is strong is he not ? " asks the proud and 
anxious father. "Yes, Master, and intrepid as 
well ! He has no fear of serpents, thunder or 
phantoms. He runs bare-footed like a herdsman 
along the brink of lofty precipices. He invents 
snares for wild beasts. In the last moon he sur- 
prised an eagle. The animal, in its fury, en- 
wrapped him in the beating of its wings ; he 


strained it against his breast ; and as it died, his 
laughter increased." 

Hamilcar bent his head, well pleased at these 
presages of his son's greatness! "But" resumed 
the teacher, "the boy has been for some time 
restless and disturbed. He gazes at the sails 
passing far out at sea. He is often melancholy. 
He rejects food. He inquires too much about 
the gods ; and he wishes to become acquainted 
with Carthage. How is he to be restrained ? I 
have to make him promises. I now come to Car- 
thage to buy him a dagger with a silver handle set 
'in pearls." 

This is one glimpse at the boyhood of the Car- 
thaginian hero, who made " Rome howl " in the 
might of his glorious manhood. What a career 
was his ! And how tragic in its ending, like that 
of all the great conquerors Alexander, Caesar, 
Napoleon ! He became a prisoner on yonder 
shore of Bithynia. It is just across the channel of 
Prinkipo. There, it is said, in the so-called castle 
of Hannibal, he took poison and died. 

There is a romance about Hannibal which had 
strange attraction for me when I was a child. I 
felt a pity for the little boy when his father, just 
before journeying with him to Spain and when he 
was only nine years of age, dedicated him at the 
altar to an eternal Nemesis against Rome ! I at- 
tached myself to his fortunes and gloried in his tri- 


umphs. How he subdued the Spanish princes ; 
how he aroused the Roman senators by his suc- 
cesses ; how, after protecting Africa and Spain, he 
moved on to Italy ; how he crossed the Pyrenees 
with half a hundred thousand footmen and n,ooo 
horses ; how he deceived Scipio, and how he crossed 
the Alps into the valley of the Dora Balteau, 
each incident is a romantic chapter with a lofty 
climax, which must always allure the fancy of the 
young and amaze the mind of the old. At Cannae 
he played havoc by destroying 70,000 men. Italy, 
almost Rome herself, succumbed to him. 

The immense sacrifices and movements of these 
ancient rivals so disturb the even flow of history, 
that we almost forget Philip of Macedon and his son. 
The brother of Hannibal joined him in Italy, on the 
banks of the Metaurus, where his army was worsted 
and the brother was killed. Then Hannibal was 
on the defensive. Never in the annals of mankind 
was there such a long campaign as he made in a 
hostile country, without assistance from home. 
When Hannibal withdrew from Italy he was met 
and beaten by Scipio, and thus ended the second 
Punic war. Then Scipio began those services by 
which he attained the civic crown. These events 
happened more than 200 years before Christ. It 
is 2069 years since that tomb across the Prinkipo 
channel received the remains of this wonderful 
soldier. Rome had demanded the punishment of 


Hannibal as a disturber of the public peace. He 
set sail for the land of his Phoenician ancestors. 
He landed at Tyre. After some adventures at 
or near Ephesus, he sought these shores, made 
memorable by the siege of Troy, and since the 
scene of many contests of priest and king, caliph 
and emperor. He was received at the court of 
the king of Bithynia, whose realm extended from 
the Euxine and Propontis, on the north and west, 
eastward, and including those places now famous 
for their ecclesiastical history Nicomedia and 
Nicaea. Its people were Greek colonists. Their 
descendants to-day are Greeks. The inland, as 
we see it from Prinkipo, is mountainous. It was 
then, and is yet, wooded. Near the sea there are 
fertile plains, which 2000 years ago were in a high 
state of cultivation, with villages sprinkled over 
its plains and slopes. Along its shore, toward 
Ismid, there is a railroad whose rumble invades the 
ear as I write. It is an unaccustomed sound 
in the Orient. It is tempered by the moaning 
of the wind through the pine trees of Prinkipo. 

It was in this land of Bithynia that Hannibal at 
last found asylum. A Roman embassy went to 
the king and demanded him. For fear of falling 
into the hands of his enemy, to whose destruction 
he had been dedicated fifty-six years before, he 
destroys himself. This event happens at Nico- 
media, then the capital of Bithynia, and now 


known as Ismid. It is at the eastern end of the 
gulf of that name, to which, every day, I see the 
Turkish postal steamer voyaging, with its solitary 
white plume of vapor floating over the sea be- 
tween the snowy range of Olympus and the 
wooded heights of our enchanted isle. 

This son of Hamilcar Barca, the Thunder- 
bolt, almost fulfilled his destiny. He only failed 
to make Carthage the mistress of the world vice 
Rome conquered. He reduced Rome to a dire 
emergency. Hasdrubal, his brother, rolled down 
the Alps with an army that gathered like an 
avalanche as he moved into Lombardy. What 
with his elephants and troops, with which he had 
left Gaul, he drew tribe after tribe of the cis-Alpine 
Celts to his standards. But the Roman senate 
had not then degenerated. Rome had a consul, 
Nero. He was the man for the crisis. He was 
associated with old Livius, as tough and obsti- 
nate an old Roman as ever led on a legion or rode 
in a triumphal chariot. Of stores, money and men 
Rome had been drained. Cannae was still remem- 
bered. But a senate which had voted a triumph 
to its defeated soldiers, and never despaired of the 
republic, was not to be disturbed by panic. 
Although Hannibal was in the south and his 
brother in the north, or, in the language of that 
time, although two Hannibals were in the field 
and striving by all the arts and devices of skill and 


strategy to draw toward each other, and thus to 
destroy Rome and carry out with strenuous feroc- 
ity the vow made by their father, still Rome did 
not despair. After much pressing the Roman 
consuls outwitted the "sons of Thunder." It was 
the consuls who united. It was the double Han- 
nibal who was separated. 

What an assemblage was that army of Hasdru 
bal ! The known world had been ransacked for 
its hordes. Here were Iberian Celts in white 
houmous; their brother Gauls, half naked, rank 
with savage Ligurians ; mountaineers of the mari- 
time Alps from Genoa and its vicinity ; Nasamones 
from the region of Morocco ; spearmen from the 
Nile and Lotophagi, who lived upon a fruit that 
cured home-sickness. These flank the Cartha- 
ginians " in cubic phalanx firm advancing " in the 
centre. Numidian horsemen from the tribes of the 
desert swarm on the wings, upon unsaddled 
steeds. The van of the army is made up of 
Balearic slingers from Minorca and Majorca, 
whose art I have noticed among the Kabyles of 
Algiers. The artillery is in the line of colossal ele- 
phants, guided by Ethiopians. It makes a living 
pachydermatous wall of defence. With javelin, 
sword and spear, the soldiers march ; with mallet 
and spike the elephant-drivers ride, ready to kill 
the beast when it becomes unmanageable ! 

For the Roman array read Gibbon's first chapter. 



In divisions of 1 200, with breast-plated and helmeted 
ranks they meet the enemy. Their red crests shine 
like fire in the light of battle. Their javelins are 
light and are easily borne, with the short-sword 
for thrusting and cutting. In quiescent order the 
stern legions form. Every soldier is a single com- 
batant. Each horseman is a skirmisher. Nero 
commands the right wing, Livius the left, and 
Porcius, the praetor, the centre. 

History records this great test of Roman valor 
by recounting the defeat and death of Hasdrubal. 
The head of the defeated general is carried as a 
trophy upon the hurried march of the Roman 
army. It is thrown into the camp of Hannibal, 
who then looks upon his brother's face for the 
first time in eleven years. Horace pictures the 
scene in his verse, and Livy tells of the delir- 
ium of Rome over the result. The senate is 
in perpetual session. The temples are filled 
with worshippers. Thanksgiving is proclaimed. 
Pleasure and business revive. Hannibal remains 
in the land, but his power is broken. The battle 
gives Rome two centuries of triumphs. Hannibal 
still holds Southern Italy, but Rome "has con- 
quered. Carthago delenda est. Still it is this 
Hannibal our neighbor of Bithynia who was the 
first in a period of 619 years, according to Gib- 
bon, who had violated the seat of Roman empire 
by his presence as a foreign enemy. 


I have mentioned, in the preceding chapter, a 
volume by Sir Edward Creasy. It is entitled the 
" Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World from Mar- 
athon to Waterloo." He makes the battle of 
Metaurus one of these pivotal battles, because 
upon it hinged the supreme power, either of 
Rome or Carthage. The historian likens the 
issue to that of Waterloo. Napoleon was only a 
later Hannibal. One fought seventeen years 
against Rome, the other sixteen against England. 
The historian carries the parallel even to Scipio 
and Wellington. When Hasdrubal fell at the 
Metaurus the fate of the world and that of Han- 
nibal also was sealed. It was not a struggle 
between two cities or empires, but between the 
commercial spirit of Africa and the civilizing laws 
of Rome. It was a contest between the Indo- 
Germanic and the Semitic family of nations ; be- 
tween art and culture on one hand, and indus- 
try and adventure on the other. Everywhere on 
the historic sea which surrounds us the struggle 
was witnessed. Here the Phoenician contended 
with the Greek two thousand years ago. To-day 
the congener of the Phoenician, the Arab, contests 
with the West. Rome annihilated Carthage; 
will the Turk remain when pressed by the same 
potential West ? 

What remains of Carthage? The periplus of 
Hanno, from which Flaubert constructs his won- 



derful novel ; a few coins ; some verses in Plautus ; 
some remnants in the Franco- Phoenician peninsula, 
and the fourth ode of Horace ! 

" Quid debeas Roma, Neronibus 
Testis Metaurum flumen et Hasdrubal 
Devictus. " 

So apocryphal is its history that Byron was 
compelled to rescue from the oblivious pen of the 
"Blind Muse" the name of that consul, Nero, 
who made the unequalled march which deceived 
Hannibal and defeated Hasdrubal. To this vic- 
tory of Nero it might be owing that his imperial 
namesake reigned at all. But the infamy of the 
one has eclipsed the glory of the other. " When 
the name of Nero is heard, who thinks of the con- 

So I may say, looking across the Prinkipo chan- 
nel, within a few miles of the rolling plains of 
Bithynia : 

Who, in looking into the eternal Oriental 
imbroglio, would dream that 2000 years ago at 
Metaurus, or perhaps at Zama, the conflict was 
begun, and temporarily ended, between the Indo- 
Arabic-Asiatic-Oriental races and that other ele- 
mental force which we now call " the West " ; and 
that the dust of the Carthaginian hero who once 
held Rome in awe reposes in yonder little dead 
kingdom ? Arnold says, " The victory over Han- 


nibal at Zama made it possible for the isolated 
city of Carthage, thirty years later, to receive and 
to consolidate the civilization of Greece, or by its 
laws and institutions to bind together barbarians 
of every race and language into an organized em- 
pire, and prepare them for becoming, when that 
empire was dissolved, the free members of the 
commonwealth of Christian Europe." 

Who now dreams that the leader of that Punic 
host was the precursor in time and counting 
the aeons, how brief the time of that adven- 
ture which, without the mariners' compass or 
steam, followed the African coast far beyond 
Sierra Leone, " doubled the Cape," and ex- 
plored the coast of Norway and the islands of 
Albioni and Hiberni ! Phoenician navigators an- 
ticipated the Congo and other enterprizes into Cen- 
tral Africa. Their fleets made a great trade with 
the tribes of the terra incognita. Carthage, when 
beaten by Greece in commerce upon these shores 
the ^Egean, the Pontus, Hellespont and Propon- 
tis made her commercial career on the Western 
Mediterranean. She had great men like Hamilcar 
and his great sons ; but her fall was signal and 
calamitous. She was too much commercial and 
not so warlike as she seemed. Her factions rav- 
aged her before she was ruined by Rome. She 
depended too much on hirelings. The rich mer- 
chant the " ancients," as Flaubert describes them 



fought by a substitute from Minorca, Greece, 
Gaul or Numidia. There was a tariff on life. Her 
mercenaries, like the Hessians hired by George III. 
to fight against America in 1776-7-8 were brave 
enough, but they did not fight like the sons of the 
soil, contending for national life or personal ambi- 
tion. Zama was the end of Carthage. There she 
yielded her sceptre. 

The story of Hannibal after he was beaten at 
Zama by the Romans loses none of its romance 
by the lapse of two thousand years. He first 
sought refuge at the court of King Antiochus, in 
Syria. Afterwards he went to the court of King 
Perseus, of Bithynia. Here he was betrayed by 
one of the legates whom Perseus had sent to 
Rome. Then he was tracked to the house which 
Perseus had given him. There he had lived a 
lonely life, with only one servant. When the ser- 
vant informed the old soldier that all chance of 
retreat was blocked by more than the usual num- 
ber of soldiers around his house, he gave up all 
hope of escape, took the poison which he carried 
with him, and at the age of seventy, in the year 
183 B.C., this, the most remarkable man of an- 
tiquity, next to Alexander and Caesar, died. 

When I learned that the grave of Hannibal was 
very near our vicinity, I happened to mention it 
in a letter to America. Thereupon the indepen- 
dent and not too reverent press of my country 


made every sort of picture of the great Carthagin- 
ian. Some delineated him as the great elephant 
of that name in Barnum's show. One pen-artist 
went so far as to picture him as the same elephant, 
pushing his way over the Alps, with trunk, trap- 
pings and all the impediments attached ! Such 
mistakes are liable to occur in the hurry of the 
American press. It was a natural mistake. It 
gave me some sadness. From the numerous 
wood-cuts which illustrated the newspaper ac- 
counts of Hannibal's Bithynian grave, I am tempt- 
ed to reproduce an etching as a good specimen 
of American art in its compact imagination as 
evolved for that occasion. As the reader will see, 
the artist lest his exaggeration should seem to 
be conceived in too humble a way to suit an Ori- 
ental theme gives his pen boldly to the portrait- 
ure, so as to carry conviction of the truth of his 
story. He circumstantially depicts the American 
minister as a visitor at the grave of this departed 
hero! Doubtless his inspiration is drawn from 
Mark Twain's inconsolable sympathy at the grave 
of Adam in Jerusalem. 

Not the least of my enjoyments sub silcntio 
at Prinkipo is the perusal of letters from old con- 
stituents. Some have taken me for a minister of 
the gospel, commended me for my change of life, 
and given me sedate advice. Some have asked 
impossible things that I should request of the 


government of Turkey. I wrote to a friend about 
my location of the grave of Hannibal. I 
thought it would interest him as he had once been 
consul to Tunis, which included old Carthage in 
its jurisdiction. I received a most sympathetic 
reply. He greatly appreciated my kindness. He 
asked me to drop a tear for him over the grave of 
the Carthaginian hero ; to invoke his manes, and 
whisper gently at his tomb that he, the late con- 
sul not of Rome but America had lived long on 
the soil of Carthage, and, like Marius at Utica, had 
sat down upon the ruins of Bursa to contemplate 
the scene of Carthaginian greatness. He con- 
cluded by hoping that I would make a libation on 
the grave to the repose of the ghost of Hannibal. 
But the most jocose account of my discovery 
was written by a valued friend, a Chicago editor. 
He of course heard that I had discovered the 
grave of his favorite hero. He determined 
not to be out-done in describing the scene. 
Concluding a long account, he pictures the 
minister standing over the grave of the hero, 
his lachrymal duct dripping with sympathetic 
tears, which plash on a marble tombstone in- 
scribed: " HANNIBAL, B.C. Anno 186. Requiescat 
in pace ! " Among many touching episodes he im- 
provises the following: "The minister's wife was 
not so much overcome by emotion as he was. 
'Why,' said she, Most thou weep for Hannibal? 


3 OI 

Pray dam oh ! dam thy tears ! Has he not 
been dead two thousand years ? After such a 
long absence will you not soon meet him in a 
brighter and a better world ?" The minister, let 
it be here recorded, was in no hurry to meet his 
departed friend in the brighter and better world. 
The editor's account of the scene is so realistic 
and pathetic that it almost makes me weep for 
the credulity of human nature. 




THE country along the Asian shore is not less 
celebrated for its fertility than for the comfort it 
gave to the early Greeks. It was from the remot- 
est times thickly studded with cities and towns, 
with their teeming multitude of people. It is 
still populous and prosperous. What land can 
vie with it in interest ? Its mountain peaks 
were once the abodes of the gods. Its ranges 
still form the natural boundaries of grand prov- 
inces, and shelter fruitful Piedmontese valleys 
in their warm embrace. To the classic fancy they 
are crowned with rich foliage above terraced 
slopes like Judea of old and blooming under rare 
cultivation. The terraces remain ; but the bare 
peaks point forestless to the passing clouds in silent 
protest against the waste of past generations and 
the indolence of the present. What land has 
scenes of more romance, or names more familiar to 
the reader of biblical and secular history ! Its 
nomenclature, even after thousands of years, woos 
the archaeologist and artist to their work, and 



revives in the mind of the tourist lofty themes of 
the ancient days when the hosts of Troy and 
Greece were embattled on these plains. 

It is a pleasant jaunt in the launch across the 
channel to Kartal, where there is an old aban- 
doned silk factory, owned by one of our neighbors 
on the island, who is a Swiss. The large hall 
with its clean, white, stone flooring is there. Fifty 
silk-stands are there, but they are silent. They 
speak the sad tale of an elegant industry aban- 
doned. The water gave out, and therefore the 
industry failed. Around the establishment the fig- 
trees are hardy, for they care little for water. 
But the earth is parched, and the fruit thereof 
is pinched and poor. It is not of present en- 
terprises I would speak now and here. The past 

This part of Asia Minor, into which I am accus- 
tomed to look almost every morning from the 
Isle of Prinkipo, is known as Anatolia. It is a 
peninsula, a vast plateau, falling by stages down 
to the three seas. It is a spur of the great plateau 
of Central Asia. Its climate is balmy and trop- 
ical. It was the seat of empire. Its very position 
is so admirable that it influenced immensely the 
early civilizations which here contended. 

The great cities are gone. There are few mon- 
uments of former grandeur, and scarcely any 
roads leading into the mainland. Of commerce 



there is almost none left. Industry and patience 
still bring something out of its soil ; enough for 
its inhabitants, but dissolution seems to mark 
large portions for its own. In the western por- 
tion and in the vicinity of the seas the land is 
arable and populous. The eastern portion is a 
pasture ground for the Turkomans. It has a 
splendid history in connection with the Christian 
and other faiths. Its population, once twenty-five 
millions, now hardly exceeds seven millions, of 
which two millions only are Christian. 

There are two classes of Moslems here : those 
who wander about, and those who are settled. 
The settled tribes are descendants of the con- 
querors, the Seljukian Turks. The Seljukian 
is always spoken of with respect, for he has pre- 
served his ancestral virtues, dignity, courage, 
loyalty and religious fervor. The Moslem in 
Asia Minor looks upon Turkey in Europe only 
as an encampment. At Broussa, Koniah and 
other celebrated places in Asia Minor, is to 
be found the true centre of the Mahometan em- 
pire. Whatever may be thought of its political 
or economical situation, the travellers whom I am 
accustomed to meet, and who return from their 
excursions into this wonderful land, bring back 
stories overrunning with enthusiasm. They praise 
the beauty of its scenery, the grandeur of its 
mountains, the richness of its lands, the magni- 


tude of its forests, its rain-falls so copious, and its 
rivers so large ; and above all its ancient monu- 
ments and its strange village life heightened by the 
unstinted hospitality of its people. Here in this 
region is found the Valonia oak, one of the princi- 
pal trees in Asia Minor. It not only produces an 
acorn whose husk is used in tanning and which is 
exported in considerable quantities, and produces 
quite a revenue, but it gives to the landscape 
many graces and beauties, of which the tourist is 
not unobservant. 

The Turks had accumulated enormous wealth at 
their old capital of Broussa, in Asia Minor, before 
Constantinople fell beneath the prowess of their 
scimitar. When Tamerlane, the Tartar, struck the 
Turkish power on the plains of Angora and made 
the great Sultan, Bajazet, his prisoner, he found 
such a quantity of treasure that the coins and pre- 
cious stones were weighed by the oka, which, as 
stated in a former chapter, is a Turkish measure 
of nearly three pounds. We must remember, how- 
ever, that this is merely tradition, and that every- 
thing told of this extraordinary Tartar must be 
received with some grains of allowance. Doubt- 
less he shed more blood and made more trouble 
upon the face of the earth during his thirty-six 
years of reign than any other personage of his- 
tory. The Alexanders, Hannibals, Caesars, At- 
tillas, Charlemagnes and Napoleons, were harm- 


3 o6 


less as babes compared with this stalwart con- 
queror and sanguinary scourge of the human 

How much of interest there is associated with 
the history of Asia Minor! It might be called the 
cradle and the grave of our race. Its very form 
makes it a theatre of contention. Here are two 
continents near to each other. Asia defiantly 
thrusts her foot between two seas, and Asia 
Minor becomes a battle ground where the tribes, 
even of far-off plateaus of the continent, march 
and countermarch to the conquest of the West. 
Across these now placid waters Assyria and Per- 
sia empty their hordes. Here Darius leads, over 
his bridge of boats across the Bosphorus, seven 
hundred thousand soldiers into Europe. His son 
moves out of Persia into Cappadocia, which is at 
the eastern end of Asia Minor, with an army in 
which forty-six nations are represented ! Behold 
them as they cross the Hellespont ! They are a 
million of men. They march for the conquest of 
Greece, but at set of sun " where are they?" 
Alexander, too, marches over and encamps on 
these historic shores. He resumes the march and 
never stops in his conquering career until he 
crosses the passes of the Himalayas. There he 
moves down upon the rich lands of India, subdues 
its princes and weeps for more worlds to conquer. 
The Roman legions grew luxurious on the plains 


of Asia Minor after they made the East the prey of 
their eagles. Never was there such a theatre of 
war, conquest, spoil and splendor as Asia Minor ! 
The Balkan peninsula, between the Black Sea and 
the ^Egean, bids fair to be a repetition of its his- 
tory. What is Asia Minor now? In almost every 
issue of the newspapers of Constantinople we read 
of the Greek, Kurdish, Circassian and Turkish out- 
laws. Brigandage makes it almost impossible to 
travel over these historic and sacred regions with- 
out a strong escort. Much depends upon the 
governor of the province, as to whether the 
tourist has safe conduct, or the missionary protec- 

Asia Minor is not only celebrated for its ancient 
wars and modern troubles, but its every province 
is rich with the memories of St. Paul and his com- 
panions. From Tarsus, where he was born, in 
Cilicia ; from Aleppo to Antioch, across the Bay 
of Scanderoon to Pamphylia, Lycia, Caria, Lydia, 
Mysia, and the other mystical and musical names 
of which the New Testament is so full, and where 
Christian churches were early established, there 
is everywhere some memory of the great apostle 
of the Gentiles, and some sign of the sufferings 
and victories which finally made Asia Minor 
the most profitable and prosperous part of the 
Christian vineyard and the Byzantine empire. The 
seven candlesticks of Asia shed from hence their 



refulgence into Macedonia and beyond into Eu- 
rope. At Ephesus is still shown for Christian 
veneration the cave of the "Seven Sleepers," 
and the holy dog which guarded them in their 
more than Rip Van Winklian nap of two hundred 

It is a matter of regret that, owing to an un- 
fortunate illness, I was unable to make a contem- 
plated trip to Nicaea, Nicomedia and other places 
of ecclesiastical celebrity along the shores of the 
Gulf of Ismid. At one of the villages where we 
were expected to land the people of all national- 
ities had made great preparations to receive the 
American Minister. The Moslem governor called 
on our missionary, the Rev. Mr. Pierce, and asked 
permission to ride with him to the landing to meet 
and greet us. Mr. Pierce begged him not to make 
any demonstration, as the visit was to be mere- 
ly a quiet tour. But the village authorities insist- 
ed that they would be guilty of inhospitable con- 
duct if they did not show the respect which they 
felt. As there was no telegraph to countermand 
the news of our visit, the Governor, with all the 
village magnates, and the Armenian clergy, went 
with the Rev. Mr. Pierce to the landing. There 
was a large cavalcade to escort us to their village. 
Some five hundred, as I was informed, were on the 
road at the entrance of the village to do us honor. 
Moreover, the village streets were cleaned for the 


occasion, an event which the Rev. Dr. Dwight 
informed me was unparalleled in the history of 
that country. 

The guide-books tell us very little about the 
most interesting environment of Constantinople. 
The most suggestive of its historic pleasure resorts, 
next to the Hippodrome, with its serpentine col- 
umn which often gave Delphic responses when 
it stood on the Greek island in its pagan days, 
are the precincts of Chalcedon and the shore which 
runs eastward along the Propontis and from there 
to Nicaea and Nicomedia. This shore is in 
sight from the heights of Prinkipo. Along it 
runs the railroad to Ismid. One of the most in- 
teresting short tours, especially if you take a sail- 
boat or a steam-launch, is along this shore. It is 
not only celebrated for the ecclesiastical councils, 
out of which our Christian creed came with em- 
phasis and durability, but it is no less famous for 
its early classic associations. Chalcedon lies in a 
vast plain. That plain was once the rendezvous of 
the troops which were wont to depart from Con- 
stantinople on their Asiatic campaigns. It is in- 
dented with beautiful bays. Near one of these 
bays is the garden of Haider Pasha. It has a 
shady fountain and a plantain grove. The foun- 
tain bears a Greek name Hermageros. Noth- 
ing can exceed the beauty of this spot. I do 
not see that its charm has been lost by having 



Kadikeiii near by. This village literally means 
" the place of the judge." It stands on the site of 
the ancient Chalcedon, whose ruins are the remains 
of structures in which were once heard the Grecian 
oracles and Christian councils. One of the legends 
of this place is that it was first settled by the 
Greeks before even ancient Byzantium. At that 
time some colonists came out from Greece to 
found a new state. They consulted the oracle 
at Delphos to know at what point they should 
settle. The oracle said, " Opposite to the blind." 
This was interpreted to mean, on the peninsula op- 
posite Chalcedon. Chalcedon is opposite Stam- 
boul. For, as it was argued, the founders must 
have been blind to prefer Chalcedon and neglect 
such unparalleled advantages as the waters of the 
Golden Horn and the Bosphorus, which glorify 
the present harbor of Constantinople. 

There are many warlike stones about the tak- 
ing of Chalcedon by the Persians. It was be- 
sieged and mined by them. It has often been 
taken since and devastated, alike by Greek, By- 
zantine, Goth, Arabian, Persian and Turk. Beli- 
sarius figures much in Greek history. Gibbon has 
given him an immortality. Here is the spot 
where his palace was erected at the end of his ser- 
vice. Out of the remains of his palace has arisen 
the finest structure in Stamboul, the mosque of 
Suleimanyie. Even the transient traveller cannot 

ON THE WA Y TO NIC&A. ^ l j 

be at a loss to fix this point, for there is a tower 
and lighthouse near by, whose lights, at the sea- 
son of Bairam, form a double crescent which is 
reflected in the water. The promontories along 
the shores were decorated in ancient times with 
temples. In fact the whole littoral sweep from 
the lighthouse to Pendik, from which the pilgrim 
caravans still start for Mecca, is full of historic 

The fourth GEcumenical council is known as 
the Council of Chalcedon. This is therefore a 
spot of ecclesiastical renown. It is now, however, 
merely a railroad station. Here was once a 
famous church. It was built by Constantine on 
the site of the Temple of Apollo and demolished 
after the fall of Constantinople. Its materials 
served to finish one of the grand mosques of 
the city. Now on this not neglected spot there is 
heard the shriek of the locomotive as it moves 
eastward on its way to Nicsea and Nicomedia, her- 
alding a new gospel for the worshipper of mam- 
mon ! It is not altogether modern and prosaic, for 
doth not its path lead both to the glory and the 
grave of Hannibal ! Not far from its track Belisar- 
ius once cultivated his vineyards. I doubt if any- 
one but myself has ever found the grave of Han- 
nibal. I saw it in a vision not of Patmos but of 
Prinkipo ! He died in the neighborhood of what 
is now the railroad station of Guebsehe ! No one 

3 I2 


in the neighborhood knows anything about the 
tomb, or the Carthaginian. You will inquire in 
vain for it. It is always a little further off ; in 
fact it is an unattainable object, a will-o-the- 
wisp. There is an old ruined castle in the neigh- 
borhood. This is often visited. It is Hannibal's 
castle. It is not apocryphal ! It is not apoca- 
lyptical. Its architecture belongs to the Middle 
Ages, and it is not very worthy of that. Its name 
makes it a standing anachronism. Its ruins are 
near some thermal waters, which the emperors 
of Byzantium were accustomed to visit with their 
families. We can lave in these waters, but Hannibal, 
alas ! although he perished at the ancient Lybissa, 
and although the spot is certainly located at the 
famous camel-stables of the caravan times, before 
the railroad came, Hannibal and his tomb, I fear, 
are forever lost to local habitation. 

There are evidences at that place of many 
tombs. Near by is a splendid mosque which re- 
minds the traveller of a mosque of Broussa. Here 
not .unfrequently some traveller of wild archaeo- 
logical genius rushes with frantic delight to a large 
tomb with a domed roof, hoping that he has dis- 
covered the long-lost grave of Hannibal; but it 
only turns out to be the burial place of a Han- 
oum a woman of the good old time, who was the 
mother of forty daughters ! The daughters are 
buried on either side of her ; twenty in each grave. 


Must this search for Hannibal and his tomb go 
on forever? 

Nicaea, the once proud capital of Bithynia, is 
a more interesting than healthy spot. It was 
founded not by Alexander, but by another son of 
Philip of Macedon. It was on a lovely plain. It 
is described by an ancient historian from the stand- 
point of a stone placed in the gymnasium whence 
its four gates could be seen. In vain do the 
English and other tourists, who go there to shoot 
birds, seek this central stone. Antiquarian 
travellers have visited it, not so much for its clas- 
sical associations, as for the religious struggles 
of the early church which occurred here. The 
city was beautified upon a Grecian model, and the 
Romans gave it some utilitarian improvements, as 
was their wont. It was the capital of a proud 
nation ; but like other Eastern capitals, it had its 
distresses by earthquake, and its sieges by sol- 
diers. For some time it stood a barrier against 
the progress of Mahometan invaders, and many a 
Saracen and Turk fell weltering in their blood 
before its Christian defenders. It was not until 
the latter part of the eleventh century that the 
Turks obtained possession of it. Soon after a 
crusade changed its condition; for within ten 
years it fell before the Grecian host, which in- 
vested it by water and land. Gibbon tells the 
story that numbers of boats were transported 



from the Sea of Marmora to the lake Ascanius. 
These were filled with soldiers, but before the 
attack the banner of the Greek emperor floated 
above the towers. It then became the Greco- 
Roman capital of Western Asia. But when the 
Seljukian Orchan the ancestor of the present 
Sultan arose, the city and the rich treasures col- 
lected within its walls fell a prey to the Turk. 
Thereafter Nicaea became known by the less ven- 
erable and less impressive name of Iznik. 

There is but one Christian church remaining to 
recall the ancient creed and glory of Nicaea. But 
as long as the Nicene Creed which was here first 
promulgated is repeated by the faithful it will be 
a bond between all Christians and the Eastern 
Church. That Nicene Creed is recited in its orig- 
inal tongue by the peasants of Greece. In Russia 
the great bell of the Kremlin tower sounds during 
the time its words are being chanted. This creed 
is repeated aloud in the presence of the assembled 
people by the Czars at their coronation. It was 
at the first council of Nicaea that the fathers who 
are so often quoted met to form this summary of 
Christian faith against Arianism, and to discuss 
the supremacy of the Bible, the power of the 
Pope and the Church, the Sacraments, Original 
Sin, Predestination, Justification, and above all the 
question upon which they differed most, the doc- 
trine of the Incarnation. This latter question was 


set at rest by the Nicene Creed. The council met 
in the month of June, A.D. 325. Its creed was 
signed by three hundred and eighteen bishops. 
It is substantially the same creed which Christian- 
ity has accepted at its various councils and con- 
ventions held during the progress of time, and 
which it declares to-day. It was confirmed, slight- 
ly changed, by the council of Constantinople, A.D. 
381. It is said to be worked in brilliants on 
the robes of the highest church dignitaries of 
Moscow. Notwithstanding all the efforts for har- 
mony which this creed inspired, the unity of the 
Church of Rome with that of Greece, or rather 
with that of Russia now, or with that of the Church 
of England, or with either of them, though often 
attempted, has never been consummated. The 
creed remains ; but the exact -place or building in 
which the famous council assembled has not yet 
been ascertained. Whether it was in the church, 
which gave a foundation to the ruined mosque of 
Orchan, or in the Christian temple, of which there 
are some remains, no one can tell. 

This country of Asia Minor speaks in every 
broken pillar and every fragment of stone, not 
only of the sojournings and teachings of the great 
apostle of the Gentiles, but it recalls those early 
days of fiery zeal when the fathers of the Church 
met to crush out error, and to perfect a creed 
which survives through the lapse of centuries. 


The creed remains, vital and mystic, but the 
swamps and thickets and lakes around the an- 
cient city of Nicaea mark a place of desolation- 
fit haunt at the advent of the hunting season 
for what ? For the hunters of Constantinople, 
in search of duck and woodcock, and sometimes of 
the wild boar. 

Nicomedia, another city of Asia Minor, was 
built in 264 B.C. by Nicomedas, king of Bithynia. 
He called on the Gauls to help him in some of his 
wars. There are some sweet Gallic accents yet 
observable in the dialects spoken along the shore 
of Marmora. Nicomedia was not only great as a 
city, but greater as a Roman capital. Its great- 
ness has been handed down to us by Roman his- 
torians. Here Pliny was pro-consul. Here he 
resided and wrote letters to the Emperor Trajan, 
describing the monuments, advantages and impor- 
tance of the city and its surroundings. It is 
thought that Pliny first started the idea of con- 
necting the waters of the lake of Sabaridja with 
the Gulf of Nicomedia by means of a canal, and 
thus cause the waters of this lake to join those of 
the river Sakaria, which empty into the Black Sea. 
Herodotus or his annotator discusses this pro- 
ject, and I received many letters from American 
students propounding many difficult engineering 
problems about this important matter. 

Dioclesian embellished Nicomedia with a taste 


and expense that were unparalleled. It became 
only inferior to Rome, Alexandria and Antioch 
in extent and population in classic days. It is 
celebrated for one of the first general edicts of 
that emperor commanding the persecution of the 
Christians. This was in the fourth century. 
Gibbon relates many interesting details of the 
martyrdoms of that early day, and especially one 
holocaust at the end of the fourth century, when 
a Christian emperor, who was an Arian, caused a 
ship containing eighty bishops, who belonged to 
the orthodox faith, to be set on fire in the harbor 
of Nicomedia. They perished for their creed. 
Here was the home of Constantine. Along with 
its rival Nicaea it underwent many sieges, but it 
is principally renowned, along with Nicsea, for 
being the seat of early Christian councils. Now 
like Nicsea, it is principally attractive to the hunt- 
ers, who go out with shot-guns from Constanti- 
nople to kill snipe and other game in and around 
its swamps. The flamingo and the stork are com- 
mon upon its ways and house-tops, but all the 
interest left in this capital seems to surround 
the great soldier of Carthage Hannibal, whose 
stern parent was very far from being one of the 
Christian fathers. 




BROUSSA is a city of Asia Minor. It stands in 
superb contrast with the relict cities of ecclesias- 
tical glory. It is a thriving business city, with a 
history worthy of the founders of the Ottoman 
Empire, who are here buried. I have been at 
Broussa, but I never surmounted the top of Mount 
Olympus. It is becoming quite a summer pastime, 
which our American friends of Robert College- 
including those of the gentler sex enjoy. They 
camp out upon the heights and enjoy the prospect, 
and inhale health. Mrs. Washburne, the wife of 
the president of Robert College, gives us a descrip- 
tion of her experience the past summer in tent life 
upon Mount Olympus. 

If from the heights of Prinkipo so much can be 
seen, how much more from the top of Olympus, 
which is seventy-five hundred feet high ? From 
its lofty dome can be viewed the Sea of Marmora, 
with its islands, gulfs and promontories, on one 
side, and the Dardanelles and the countries around 
it, on the other. 


The eye takes in the lakes on the east, where 
were situated Nicomedia and Nicsea, and the 
mountains of Bosachan to the west. Such a wide 
expanse of water ; such magnificent ranges of 
mountains, and such a lofty standpoint give a 
ground of vantage that elevates the observer far 
above the turmoils of our little world. And what 
a land ! What seas are overlooked from this 
more than Alpine height ! Here one stands 
wrapped in thought, not alone because the scenes 
below have been illustrated in crimson letters by 
Persian, Greek, Roman and Turkish armies ; not 
merely that Broussa the most interesting Mos- 
lem city next to Constantinople which lies at 
the f6ot of the mountain, was the capital of the 
first Turkish empire, and still retains the bodies of 
its early heroes and Sultans, but also that from 
this elevated point can be seen what is now the 
ignoble point of Ismid, where was once the proud 
capital of Bithynia, the famed city of Nicomedia. 
It was once the residence of emperors ; but now 
it is only a memory ! We have not to ascend 
Olympus to see it. It is almost within the range 
of our vision from the hills of Prinkipo. 

It would be a pleasant thing to compare our 
Mysean Olympus with the Olympus which Homer 
has peopled and glorified with the divinities. 
Both mountains are within the jurisdiction of 
our legation. The Olympus which the won- 

3 20 


drous mythology of Greece gave to the world 
is just over the boundary of Greece. But it is 
also within the precincts of Macedonia, which is 
in Turkey. My servitor, Pierre, has been on the 
heights of the Grecian Olympus with a company of 
engineers. He was their purveyor. He knows 
all about the monastery of Saint Dionysius, before 
which and its ministers the light of Apollo has 
shone and the eagle of Jove has flown. He is 
acquainted with the guides, who are known as 
" clefts," called so, perhaps, because they are famil- 
iar w T ith the rocks. Having ascended the classic 
mountain, he gives me an account of its holy oaks, 
catalpas, arbutuses, pines and firs, and the glory of 
the adjacent mountains. From its summit one can 
overlook the sea, as to which Pierre becomes elo- 
quent in his description. He forgets his French 
and other alien tongues in telling the glory of the 

" Long line of foam, the jewelled chain, 
The largesse of the ever-giving main." 

He relapses into his own language of Croatia, 
with whose coast he is as familiar as I am now 
with the inlets and seas about Prinkipo. Within 
view of Olympus are the shoreless cliffs of 

How glorious and great is the peak of the clas- 
sic Olympus ! To the north is the level plain 
diversified with woodlands. On the opposite side 


of the water are the promontories, one after an- 
other Athos, Tomina and beyond these some 
of the islands of the ^Egean lift themselves 
out of the blue waves into the beautiful blue 

This wonderful home of the gods, this Grecian 
Olympus, which fills such a grand page in our my- 
thology and rhetoric, is now undignified by many 
saw-mills turned by its obedient streams. Thus 
are the naiads enslaved and the dryads dishev- 
elled of their leafy glories, while the waters plash 
and the wheel turns, and the saws eat their eager 
way into the timber that is sent thence to Smyrna, 
to Constantinople and even to Egypt. Non 
constat but I am now sitting in a chair whose 
ligneous fibre grew under the very shadow of the 
throne of Zeus. I revert to my callow college 
days. I ask: Where are Venus and Mars? 
Where the glories of that wonderful company of 
gods, with Jove above them all by his great 
looks and power imperial ? Gone into the 
dim yet deathless traditions of the past, which 
made this mountain so weird in its witchery 
and sacred in its power over the poetic Greek 
imagination. What poet of the future will sing 
"Olympus Lost" ? 

The classic Olympus has now come down to this : 
that the most conspicuous tradition of our Ho- 
meric mount connects itself with a bear. The 


legend is told by the monks of St. Dionysius. 
When that saintly father was ploughing on the 
mountain side, he was forced to leave his ox 
with the plough in the furrow. While away, a 
bear came along and ate up his ox. The saint on 
his return discovered what had happened. He 
No, he did not curse and swear, but he was very 
mad with the bear, and he determined to punish 
bruin in a way not to his taste. With a power that 
belonged almost to the supreme Zeus himself, he 
seized and harnessed the larcenous ox-lifting bruin. 
Forever after that bear had to drag that plough. 
He became quite tame and grizzly in the hon- 
orable service of Ceres. When the family of 
bears found what his saintship had done with their 
fellow, they incontinently turned tail and fled the 
Mount Olympus, just as the snakes scurried from 
Ireland when they heard that St. Patrick had 

While the Macedonian Olympus soars high in 
the clouds of classic lore, it cannot compare, 
except in the number of its peaks, with our own 
Mysean Olympus. The classic Olympus has a 
triple crown. Olympus of Asia Minor has but 
two summits. Although the classic Olympus has 
a name which signifies the " Shining One," and 
is called the white, the dazzling, and gleaming 
mount by the Greek poets, it may as well be 
stated in prose that no part of this Homeric 


Olympus is within the limit of perpetual snow ; 
while our Asian Olympus never fails to shine with 
its white perennial crown ! No one can gainsay 
that the surroundings of the classic Olympus are 
something magnificent. Its effect is grand. Here 
is Ossa.. It too has magnificent views. It com- 
mands a wide expanse of sea beneath its aspect. 
Olympus is nine thousand feet high ; but its 
weak point is that the country on one side is 
almost wholly excluded from view. This is 
owing to a double line of summits. Scholars 
who have ascended its classic eminence find it 
no unworthy position for the gods It has a 
serener ether than belongs to our lower nature, 
and there is an odor of sanctity around its 
monastery. The early Greek believed that its 
atmosphere was never disturbed by wind, storm, 
snow or clouds. It was always divine. The 
clouds below its tranquil summit were the beau- 
tiful gates of heaven to the sensitive Greek. 
When Jove rolled them back, Apollo gave them 
hue and beauty. What a palace was that of 
Jupiter! What a council -chamber that of the 
other gods ! What a course for their chariots and 
races on the summit of the mountain ! 

But to enter these mystic scenes and precincts 
is to go beyond the limits prescribed for this vol- 
ume. Lest I awake the ire of Homer or his 
students, I will not further make comparison be- 


tween the two Olympian heights. The best I can 
do is to come down from these heights and flights 
and describe things as they are to-day in this 
ancient wonderland. If we were to describe the 
various peaks upon the classic Olympus and the 
legends connected with them, the classic mountain 
might be reduced to a lower plane than that of the 
Olympus which the learned regard with so much 
pedantic devotion. 

Shakespeare has made the scenes about our clas- 
sic Olympus interesting. His genius seized Pelion 
and piled it on Ossa in a wild way. Ossa is a 
smaller rock than Olympus; but what huge rocks 
they are ! When the vale of Tempe opens to the 
sea between them, it is a picture of Claude, repre- 
senting beauty at the feet of strength ! 

Along the coast of the ^Egean, Pelion lies 
near Ossa, and along with Mount Olympus they 

look across the sea to the scene of the great 

Trojan epic. 

It is a custom, even to the present day, among 
the Grecian Christian women when they are 
enceinte, to slide down one of the smooth places 
on the side of the classic mountain. It is a sign 
of a happy deliverance. And as they slide, they 
sing a peculiar song in Greek. It has reference 
to their future destiny, or that of the expected 

There is still another eminence nearer our home, 



though lesc classic and historic than either of the 
Olympii. It is a Turkish Dagh. 

One of the best points of observation for a 
view of the landscape in and around Constanti- 
nople is the Mount Bougourlow. It rises only 
a few miles behind Scutari on the Asiatic side. 
When you climb to its summit the panorama of the 
Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmora is spread be- 
neath you. This mountain is not only frequented 
by strangers who desire to survey the prospect, 
but by the Mahometan women, who go there in 
good weather to pass the day under its pleasant 
trees. They go in little companies. Sometimes 
the harem goes. The women watch their chil- 
dren at play ; they chat ; they listen to itinerant 
music ; and they have their picnic of grapes, bread 
and sherbet, topped off with a smoke of the fra- 
grant weed. 

The ascent to this mountain is by no means 
easy. The roads are hardly passable. The prin- 
cipal vehicle is the arabi a lumbering carriage 
drawn by oxen. But it makes up in gaudy 
finery what it lacks in speed. There are many 
little plateaus to break the ascent of the moun- 
tain. Here you can rest. On each plateau are 
seen families of both Armenians and Turks 
resting on their lazy route upward. The situa- 
tion is so high, the sea breeze so grateful, the 
temperature so refreshing, and the dealers in cof- 



fee, water, sherbet, pastry and confectionery are 
so numerous that the spectacle upon the top 
of the mountain is as festive as the wide-spread 
panorama below is sublime. The women sit 
upon the grass under their sun-shades. They 
are clad in their varicolored and shining silk 
dresses. Some recline beneath the shade of the 
sycamores and plane-trees. The gayety and nov- 
elty are enhanced by a bevy of Greek girls. You 
easily recognize them. They are known by their 
diadems of braided hair. They amuse themselves 
with the dance in movements which require little 
exertion, but which are full of the poetry of mo- 
tion. These performances you may see repeated 
at the " Sweet Waters." 

This scene is seductive with attractions, but 
your ascent to the mountain is for another pur- 
pose. Here the eye roams over the prospect 
of the great city, with its domes and minarets 
upon the west. On the east is a vast plateau 
or prairie. Over it runs the old road of the 
caravans. It leads out of Scutari into the very 
heart of Asia. On the north is the Black Sea 
and old Cimmeria, the land of blackness and 
blockheads! On the south is our own island 
home of Prinkipo flanked by Bothnia and Troy. 
Turn where you will every prospect pleases. 
Not the least of the delights is the circle im- 
mediately around you. Here are the Zigani play- 


ing upon the fiddle. They chant ballads in their 
strange gypsy dialect. Here pleasure, innocence 
and gayety abound. The groups are as joyous as 
one could wish to see. One feels tempted to re- 
main here long As the company descend the 
mountain shouts of wild laughter from the arabis 
answer to each new plunge of the awkward vehicles. 
Horsemen dash down as recklessly as if they were 
on a level. Everything bespeaks a scene entirely 
Asiatic and far removed from the Europe which 
is in view from the summit. In such glimpses we 
catch rare views of the harmonious blendings of 
Greek and Turkish life, suggestive of the blend- 
ings of the two races which gave so much force 
and romance to the Mahometan empire in Europe. 

The founder of the Ottoman dynasty, Othman, 
was an extraordinary person. He left not only a 
great name, but a sovereignty over the greater 
part of little Asia. Starting with an army of only 
416 horsemen, he increased it to 6000. When he 
died he left neither gold nor silver behind, only a 
spoon and a salt-cellar, an embroidered caftan, a 
new turban, some flags in red muslin, a stable full 
of horses, some yokes of oxen for the laborers of 
the farm, and a choice flock of sheep. These 
sheep were the ancestors to the imperial flocks 
which were fed at the foot of Mount Olympus, 
and this man was the ancestor of the imperial 
rulers of the great Ottoman empire. 

Orkhan was his second son and his successor. 



He had great skill in ornamentation and evidently 
was romantically inclined, for the buildings which 
he caused to be erected are covered with poetical 
inscriptions. Whenever he founded a college he 
also established a soup kitchen. The villages 
which are called after his name are numerous. 
His reign was unsullied either by barbarity or 
violence. He is known as the Numa of the Otto- 
mans. What I wish to remark in relation to this 
family is this : Their tombs at Broussa are noted 
in history. The munificence of these princes to- 
ward Broussa has its monuments in the chari- 
table institutions which they erected. Niloufer 
Khatoun was the first wife of the Sultan Orkhan. 
She founded one hundred and eleven charitable 
institutions. Some of them are in Nicaea. She 
passed the end of her life at that place in quiet 
retirement, and was always regarded as a most 
excellent and pious princess. 

It may be thought that the Sultans are not per- 
mitted to marry outside of their own religion. 
They are not so restricted in choice. It is a fact 
that the strength and glory of the Ottoman dy- 
nasty has been sustained by the marriage of its 
Sultans with Christian women. The virtuous 
princess Niloufer, whose body lies near the walls 
of Broussa. was a Christian, and she is in such 
contrast with Roxolana, another Christian wife 
of a subsequent emperor, that it is well to regard 
the one and discard the other. 



SAN STEFANO is always in sight on a clear day 
from the Princes Islands. It leaves one indelible 
historic impression. It is connected with the war 
which began in the autumn of 1877 between Rus^ 
sia and Turkey. Of that war and its various for- 
tunes I shall speak in a more elaborate volume 
than this "The Diversions of a Diplomat" 
which I contemplate publishing. The diplomacy 
in which Lord Salisbury who was the agent of 
Lord Beaconsfield took so .conspicuous a part at 
that time, is associated with the very room where 
I now pen this chapter. Here, no doubt, Salis- 
bury dreamt dreams and saw visions. The device 
of Midhad Pacha then grand vizier to disarm 
the hostility of the European congress or concert 
by proclaiming a liberal constitution ; the adhesion 
of England to Turkey; the isolation of the Czar; 
the crossing of the Danube, upon which the Great 
White Father of all the Russians invoked the 
blessing of God as he gave the order to advance ; 
the move on the Balkans ; the cries against the in- 
fidels ; the sacred hymns of the old Greek Church 



heralding the Slavonic army all these are a part 
of that conflict which had its consummation and 
mise en seine at San Stefano. In that movement 
the Russians had two hundred and twenty thou- 
sand men, and the Turks about the same number. 
In soldierly bearing and qualities these armies 
were nearly equal. They were equally enthusiastic 
and brave. In arms the Turks were, perhaps, 
better off than the Russians. Three hundred 
thousand American rifles, the Peabody-Martini 
gun which is still to be seen in the hands of the 
Turkish soldier, had been stacked for the emer- 
gency in the barracks of Constantinople. Iron- 
clads filled the Golden Horn. Germany supplied 
the Turk with cannon which were as much supe- 
rior to the old bronze guns, as the Martini rifle was 
in advance of the old Revolutionary musket of our 
fathers. The Russians were, perhaps, superior in 
cavalry. The Cossack was then thought to have 
no equal. This was before the day when the 
Arab of the desert with spear and horse broke the 
squares of the flower of Albion's infantry in the 
Soudan. But the fighting was not to be done on 
horse-back. The Turks were in their own coun- 
try. They had the mountain range of the Bal- 
kans, so celebrated in military history from the 
time when Darius crossed the Bosphorus to fight 
the Scythians. Bulgaria then, as now, was the 
objective point. Generals Gourko and Skoboleff 


led the Russian armies. As the people of many 
of the towns through which the Russians passed 
were adherents of the Greek Church, they wel- 
comed the Russians as deliverers. Priests, monks 
and girls met the Slav soldiers with flowers and 

The Turks were aroused. Their armies were 
concentrated upon the Balkans. All Europe be- 
held their magnificent fighting at the Shipka Pass. 
Plevna became almost another Thermopylae in 
the way of the advancing Slav. The Czar himself 
soon found his presence necessary to inspire the 
stolid Russian soldier. 

The advance was easy, until all at once the 
Shipka Pass was found to be defended by the 
Turks, and Plevna made its heroic resistance ! 
In spite of the gallant fighting on the part of 
the Turks, the Russians found themselves south 
of the Balkans. Was there a panic in Constan- 
tinople ? Was there terror at the Porte and dis- 
may in Dolma-Batche and the palaces ? Was 
there a packing up of archives? Was there 
to be another hegira of the Mohammedan and 
another exodus of the Jews ? All this has been 

The intensity of religious emotion was invoked 
in the rank and file of the Russian army. The 
splendid ritual of the Greek Church was called 
in to take the place of the drum and fife. With 



uncovered head, the sad chants peculiar to the 
Greek Church gave solemnity to the scene. It 
was no summer holiday, that fight in the Bal- 
kans. At length Osman Pacha, who so long 
withstood the skill of Todleben, surrenders with 
his army. Plevna falls. It is the turning-point of 
the war. The Russians push down toward Con- 
stantinople. With an audacity unequalled they 
press on towards the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, 
where for the first time since A.D. 1434, a Chris- 
tian army is seen. 

"On to Philippopolis ! " "On to Adrianople !" 
The victorious Russians press on, until on the 
last day of January, 1878, the minarets of Con- 
stantinople appear. 

The passage of the Balkans was a wonderful 
achievement. It was a terrible struggle amidst 
the storms of the winter season. Even as I now 
write, in this balmy clime, and so near the Balkan 
range, the snow is blocking its passes. 

How far did that war limit the power of Tur- 
key ? By what miracle did the Caliph of all 
Mahometanism survive the conflict of race and 
religion ? This is not the place to seek the casus 
belli, or to criticise the strategy by which the Rus- 
sian army reached the plains of San Stefano. On 
the memorable third of March, A.D. 1878, the little 
village, whose white houses now appear upon my 
vision, was the scene, after a month of negotia- 


tion, of the celebration of the peace by what is 
known as the " Treaty of San Stefano." 

This village is not without some American asso- 
ciations. It is the place where Commodore Porter, 
of " Essex " fame, first fixed the American Lega- 
tion. It is situated on the Sea of Marmora, and 
within six miles of the Golden Gate, from whose 
towers I have gazed upon the grand campaign, 
where the vast Russian army was encamped. 

But it is most distinguished as the place where 
the treaty between Russia and Turkey was made. 
That treaty was made by General Ignatieff. It 
was set aside afterwards by the treaty of Berlin, 
owing to the energetic protest of the Powers. 
The protest was backed by the British Navy, 
which was anchored between the islands of Halki 
and Prinkipo, in the same .blue waters through 
which I am accustomed to glide in our American 
navy of the Orient, the steam-launch "Sunset." 

It was thought when the Russian army came 
in sight of the minarets of Stamboul that the rule 
of the Turk in Europe was forever ended, that 
his encampment was broken up and that he would 
retreat into Asia. Judging from the enormous 
number of refugees who fled before the advanc- 
ing Russian army, this was then a reasonable ex- 

There were other Powers, however, to be dealt 
with before Russia could be permitted to fly her 


flag from the dome of St. Sophia. The English 
fleet passed up the Dardanelles. There, on the 
plains of San Stefano, were rolled back the waves 
of Russian invasion which almost swept over the 
walls of Constantinople ! 

The war, not to speak of the treaty, which was 
more or less abrogated afterwards at Berlin, had 
the effect of greatly circumscribing Turkish do- 
minion in Europe. It severed Bosnia, Servia, 
Herzegovina, Montenegro, Roumania and Bulga- 
ria, and portions of Thessaly from the empire. 
But the Moslem domination over a large portion 
of Turkey in Europe still remains. Judging by 
recent events, the power of the Turk is stronger 
to-day than it was ten years ago. 

Although the village of San Stefano has a place 
in diplomatic history, it consists of only about 
twenty or thirty houses. These houses are large. 
They are owned by wealthy Greek merchants who 
inhabit them during the summer. When the 
Russians were preparing to move on Constanti- 
nople, these houses were occupied by the Grand 
Duke Nicholas and his staff. There is a quay 
upon the Sea of Marmora upon which the village 
fronts. During the winter and spring of 1878 
there could be heard at these Princes Islands, 
floating across the waters, the music of the Rus- 
sian bands. It is not unlikely that this alien mu- 
sic was heard by the young Sultan, who had only 


a year or two before that time come into power. 

The Russians remained at San Stefano during 
the armistice. The officers, and after a while 
some of the men, were allowed to visit Constanti- 
nople. It is said that they behaved themselves 
in a most exemplary manner. Certainly they 
pleased the merchants of the bazaars. It is reck- 
oned that six millions of rubles in gold, a sum 
equivalent to $4,600,000, were then paid into the 
shops by the Russians. During this time al- 
though there was a mercantile entente cordiale, 
the treaty hung fire. The Russians became impa- 
tient at the dilatoriness of the Turks in signing the 
treaty. The 3rd of March rolled around ; it was 
the anniversary of the Czar's accession ; and the 
negotiations were abruptly ended. At one o'clock 
in the afternoon the troops were drawn up as for 
parade. The horses of the Grand Duke and his 
staff were saddled. Still the Turks delayed to 
sign the treaty. Couriers dashed fleetly between 
the house of the Grand Duke and that in which 
were the negotiators Ignatieffand Savfet Pasha. 
At last the Russian menace /was heeded. The in- 
tended attack upon the city was turned into a 
" Review," and the army was informed that the 
war had ended. 

It has lately transpired that, when the Russian 
army was near Constantinople, Count Schouvaloff 
telegraphed to the Czar that England would not 



interfere with the occupation of the city by the 
Russians, provided no attempts were made by the 
Russians to seize Gallipoli and blockade the iron- 
clads within the Golden Horn. The Czar trusted 
to Schouvaloff. He was the ambassador at Lon- 
don. He believed that the city would be occu- 
pied without British intervention. It is alleged 
that on the receipt of this dispatch the Czar 
telegraphed to General Gourko at San Stefano 
commanding the troops to march into and oc- 
cupy the city. Of course, the dispatch was in ci- 
pher ; but it could not reach San Stefano without 
passing through Turkish hands. It is said that 
the Turks so transposed the ciphers that when 
the telegram was received by Gourko it was 
utterly unintelligible. The general had all the 
shrewdness of his army at work upon the dis- 
patch, but in vain. Thus, two most momentous 
days passed by ; and the British cabinet meanwhile 
were advised by the Turkish minister at London 
of the peril. The British cabinet immediately 
directed the minister at St. Petersburg to state to 
the Czar that the occupation of the city would be 
regarded as a casus belli. The result of the curt 
dispatch was the treaty and not the occupation. 

This remarkable statement is vouched for by Dr. 
Blowitz, the Paris correspondent of the London 
Times. " Upon what a slender thread hang ever- 
lasting things !" How it ended, we know. The 



Grand Duke telegraphed to the Czar the same 
night that the great and holy mission which he 
had assumed, of liberating the Christians from the 
Mussulman yoke, had been accomplished. There- 
upon preparations were made to re-establish the 
old diplomatic relations at the Muscovite and Ot- 
toman capitals. Thereupon the Grand Duke and 
his suite danced the Cracovienne on the marble 
pavements of Beylerbey ; not as a conqueror, but 
as a guest of the Sultan ! 



IN a former chapter I have stated that Mur- 
ray's guide-book gives it out that the women of 
Prinkipo are the most beautiful in the world. I 
am ready to believe that Murray, on this topic, is 
nearly, if not absolutely, veracious. I will not say 
that every one is a Miranda or a Una, or even a 
Helen ; for there are many females on this isl- 
and who are neither youthful nor attractive. But, 
according to the best standards of taste, there are 
more beautiful women here than I have ever seen 
among the same number in any other part of the 
world. Perhaps it is because they are modelled 
upon the eclectic principle of the ancient Greek 
artist who, to make one perfect form, selected from 
many beauties the conspicuous loveliness of each. 
The Greek blood- upon this island is of a purer 
strain than can be found upon the mainland of 
Greece. This is also the case in the Cyclades 
and other Grecian islands nearer the ancient 
capital of art and genius. The classic costumes 
are not quite the mode of Prinkipo, but they still 
remain the fashion in the inland of the Greek pen- 




insula and many of the islands of the /Egean. 
Now and then, here in Prinkipo, you may see young 
Greek girls dressed in European style, but seldom 
without retaining the jacket of embroidered silk 
and the coiffure, which remind you of the an- 
cient costume. The chiselled features of these 
young graces show the classic model. Greece is 
now best represented in her old colonial depend- 
encies. In the islands the living models of Phid- 
ias, Praxiteles and Lysippus are by no means rare. 
Whatever changes the latest fashions of Paris 
may make, they do not affect the graceful classic 
dressing of the hair. It is still parted in waves, 
just as we see it in the antiques with which every 
archaeologist is familiar. These waving bands 
flow over the temple on each side and are encir- 
cled by a large braid forming a sort of crown. I 
am not prepared to say that these braids are al- 
ways genuine. Their different shades of color 
suggest a suspicion of the ancient as well as mod- 
ern art. Nor am I prepared to discriminate very 
greatly between womankind, in grace of form and 
movement. Still one would have to be blind not 
to see in the evening balcony-groups of Prinkipo 
many a beauty whose very pose suggests the clas- 
sic type. Even the touch of the finger to the 
forehead in repose " like one who with a pleased 
look leans upon a closed book " gives a serenity, 


proportionateness and beauty altogether unique 
and Hellenic, and rarely seen elsewhere. 

Visitors who write about Turkey more fre- 
quently go into raptures over the Turkish woman 
than over her Greek sister. Is it because the 
beauty of Turkish women is only partly revealed ? 
The best writer upon the Orient whom I have 
read, " Eothen," is an exception to this rule. He 
seems to have been more enamored of the beauti- 
ful descendants of the old Ionian race, whom he 
found along the shores of Asia Minor and in its 
splendid cities of Beyrout and Smyrna. But his 
picture of the Smyrniote lady is somewhat dim, as 
if he were under a spell. He sees Greek beau- 
ties everywhere in these cities, even in the humblest 
mud cottages. They are all attired with magnifi- 
cence " their classic heads are crowned with scar- 
let, and loaded with jewels, or coins of gold the 
whole wealth of the wearers." Thus far he writes 
with considerable fidelity, for the Greek woman 
wears her dowry or fortune upon her person. It 
is an investment made for safety, as well as adorn- 
ment. It has its convenience also, for the suitor, 
instead of going to a public office to ascertain, from 
the will of her father or the record of public taxes, 
the value of her estate, can, while he admires the 
contour of his mistress's head, reckon it therefrom. 
When " Eothen " gazes long and longingly at the 
features of the Greek he finds some artificiality. 



" Their features," he says, " are touched with a 
savage pencil, which hardens the outline of eyes 
and eyebrows, and lends an unnatural fire to the 
stern, grave looks with which they pierce your 
brain." Evidently he is becoming more or less 
inflamed, for he says further on : " Endure their 
fiery eyes as best you may and ride on slowly and 
reverently, for facing you from the side of the 
transom that looks longwise through the street, 
you see the one glorious shape transcendent in its 
beauty ; you see the massive braid of hair as it 
catches a touch of light on its jetty surface and 
the broad, calm, angry brow the large black eyes, 
deep-set, and self-relying like the eyes of a con- 
queror, with their rich shadows of thought lying 
darkly around them, you see the thin fiery nos- 
tril, and the bold line of the chin and throat, dis- 
closing all the fierceness and all the pride, pas- 
sion and power that can live along with the rare 
womanly beauty of those sweetly turned lips." 

This rhapsody comes from a man whose travels 
through the Orient were of a most sedate and 
philosophic quality, and who is quoted after fifty 
years as no other writer upon these lands has 
been quoted. Evidently this gifted writer went 
clean daft upon his inspiring theme. What a 
climax he makes in his description of the Greek 
beauties ! He falls into an ecstasy when he says : 
" But then there is a terrible stillness in this breath- 



ing image ; it seems like the stillness of a savage 
that sits intent, and brooding day by day, upon 
some one fearful scheme of vengeance, but yet 
more like, it seems, to the stillness of an immortal, 
whose will must be known, and obeyed without 
sign or speech. Bow down ! Bow down, and 
adore the young Persephone, transcendent Queen 
of Shades ! " 

What should "Eothen" have said when he en- 
countered, as he often did, the genuine girl of the 
desert ; not in the palace or harem, but in the tent, 
surrounded by the associations which gave to the 
East its sweetest lyrics. Sometimes such an Arab 
girl is known to sing her songs from native in- 
spiration. One of these songs echoes in my mem- 
ory as it is sighed rather than sung beside the foun- 
tains of Damascus. It is a melancholy strain, but it 
has the essence of contrast and patriotism, which is 
the spirit of poetry. She praises her russet suit of 
camel's-hair as dearer to her than the trappings of 
a queen ; the humble tent as better than the tow- 
ers and halls of the splendor around ; the frolicsome 
colt as more beauteous than the gorgeous mule 
of the pasha ; the barking of the watch-dog as a 
sweeter sound than the melody of the lute ; and, 
as a climax, the rustic youth, unspoiled by art, 
poor but free, with whom she will roam the desert, 
though all the pampered sons of wealth should 
seek to woo her from his love. 


Closely assimilated with the Grecian woman in 
beauty, and having each her own peculiar loveli- 
ness, is the Armenian, Persian, Hebraic and Otto- 
man woman. All are, in one word, of Oriental 
type. Artists have portrayed the large black 
eye, its languid lustre and liquid splendor ; the 
heavenly arch of the brow, and the delicate soft- 
ness and smoothness of the skin which tell of the 
bath and its constant use. But no one can picture 
the beauties of these Oriental women. The rose, 
the pearl, the alabaster, are but feeble symbols of 
their loveliness. Their courtly ease, low sweet 
voice, innocent jocund laugh, and the honeyed talk, 
make a poem of enchantment surpassing the sensu- 
ous imagination of Keats. It may be that the Ar- 
menian women are of the earth and earthy ; but 
their graces betoken the nearness of their country 
to the Garden of Eden, and the absence of the after- 
math which sin brought from thence into the world. 
The Turkish woman does not dress as gaudily 
as the Persian, nor does she bloom so much in 
the fictitious glories of painted womanhood. She 
has her own mode of pencilling the eyebrow 
and arranging the veil which defies competition. 
But when called for an out-door promenade in a 
long and graceless feridjie she does not show that 
elegance which one might possibly see if he were 
allowed within the harem. The contrast between 
the indoor dress, both in Pefsia and here farther 



west, and the walking attire, must strike every 
traveller who has had the privilege to draw it 
from life. 

The more characteristic charms of the Circas- 
sian, while she may be passing fair, consist of a 
tall and well formed figure, dark eye-lashes and 
bright chestnut hair ; but sometimes that element 
of the old Tartaric strain a high cheek bone or 
wide mouth, is too prominent a feature. Her 
charms are more or less concealed by the veil. 
Diamonds and other jewellery illumine her hair. 
Her dress is brightened and colored to attract the 
eye and rivet the gaze. 

The Lady of Lima is one of the beautiful flow- 
ers of the great Spanish plant on our own hemi- 
sphere. She is said to be all eyes. The way she 
wears her saya y manto gives her such a coquettish 
and bewitching air, that, if all her other features 
were ugly, she would be rescued by the glory of 
her eye and garment. The Lady of Lima has 
been known unconsciously to entrance her own 
husband in passing along the street ! Although 
only one eye is visible at such times, the orb of 
the Spanish ladies is of such a large, deep, liquid 
black, that her glance through her cr$pe mantle 
from China becomes auxiliary to many a heart- 
breaking infelicity. The Peruvian and Andalu- 
sian beauty is but another type of the Oriental 


woman under American and European acclimati- 

It would seem that the blonde is just now 
most affected by the Turkish women. Fair hair, 
and blue eyes or gray, are not, however, admired 
by their Persian sisters, although in Persia a fair 
skin and florid complexion are much sought after. 
But, strange to say, that even though nature may 
have been unstinted in her gifts to these East- 
ern women, art is not seldom called in with her 
rouge and powder. I am told that the beauties of 
the harem, in Persia at least, are like full blown 
peonies. I have seldom seen a Turkish woman 
who rouged her face. She may paint her eye- 
brows and powder her neck, but rouge does not 
seem to be one of her adornments. The Persian 
generally gives her suffrage to the jet black, al- 
most blue-black, long hair. After the Egyptian 
and Oriental method, still seen upon temple and 
tomb, it is worn plaited into a number of tiny braids 
whose ends peep forth coquettishly from beneath 
the veil. But neither in Persia nor in Egypt, nor 
in Turkey, is the contour of the ankle revealed by 
the walking attire. For four thousand years the 
women of the East have been under formal and 
constant restraint before their lords and masters. 
They will not uncover their face before any man 
except their father or husband. Therefore they 
put on an outward dress that makes them all 


look alike. This costume was borne from the 
East to Andalusia and thence to Spanish Amer- 
ica. The veil of the East is, therefore, not only 
an Asiatic but an American institution. 

In Turkey, thirty odd years ago, when I first 
visited it, the trousers, that are yet common in 
Persia, were the rage. Then much female para- 
phernalia were crowded into these voluminous 
trousers which were gathered at the ankle when 
a Turkish lady desired to make a promenade 
abroad. I have noticed that during the interven- 
ing time the Turkish women have learned to 
correct the ungainly gait which came from wear- 
ing slippers at the extremity of their stockingless 
legs a custom which even Byron remarked was 
" one of the disenchantments of their beauty." 

I have tried to describe the women of the East ; 
but how can my pen, with its sameness and tame- 
ness of words, picture the rare form and alluring 
graces of these maids of the Isle of Prinkipo ? 
If they are not good, as Miranda remarked of 
her lover in another enchanted isle, then good 
spirits will try to dwell in such forms of loveliness. 
As some one sings : " Nature herself disjoins the 
beauteous and profane ; and beauty is virtue 
made visible in outward grace." Ah ! if one could 
always incarnate within these outward forms the 
Florence Nightingales of our earth, where could 
be found more exquisite caskets of the soul with- 


in ! A friend who saw this rare woman here dur- 
ing the Crimean war tells me that she was held in 
the greatest honor among both men and women. 

" How," I asked, "did she look? how was she 
dressed ? " 

The answer was : 

" Her short brown hair was combed over her 
forehead, while her childlike and wasted figure 
seemed to give more grace to her goodness. 
When I saw her in her black dress which was 
held by a large enamelled brooch, surrounded 
by a wreath of laurel (an offering of the sol- 
diers), and her little white cap with a white crape 
handkerchief thrown over it, leaving but a border 
of lace to be seen, she was the picture of a nun, 
" breathless with adoration ! " 

This was the woman of heaven's own type of 
beauty, the angel of the hospitals, the pearl of 
the camp. I asked for more particulars as to her 
personality. My friend responded : 

" She had a Roman nose, small dark eyes, keen 
yet kind. She was orderly and ladylike in manner." 

All of this is in sharp contrast with the luxuri- 
ous gifts and physical graces of these women of 
this isle of princes and princesses. 

But because Florence Nightingale was too good 
to be less than an angel, we must not forget that 
there may be still some Circes, Calypsos, Helens, 
Sapphos and Aspasias. But happily they are rare 



among the Christian women whose devotion is the 
soul of the Orthodox Church. Such women are 
the rule. If there be others they are the excep- 

Would you have me be more particular as to 
these island goddesses ? I meet them in the prom- 
enade, dressed as queens and as gracious to all 
as Minerva was toward Ulysses. I see them mov- 
ing amidst the pine forests, their little high- 
heeled white shoes hardly deigning to touch 
the ground, the realization of Burke's picture of 
Queen Antoinette ; for never lit upon this star 
more resplendent visions of immortal beauty ! 

It is impossible to particularize, although I have 
one in my mind's eye, as I write. Is she Helen of 
Troy, or Venus reincarnated ? When likening 
these beauties of the isle to Homer's heroines, 
I do not refer, to other than their bodily graces. 
Venus is a goddess. She can take care of 
herself. Helen is not an odious person. With all 
her faults I love her still. She was not hateful 
even to old Homer. /As I recall her she is frail but 
not abandoned. She struggles with virtues on one 
side, and a softness which overcomes them on the 
other. Sometimes she is repentant, but always 
fair. Fate seems to rescue her fame ; and fate is 
never wanting when the "machina" is necessary 
for the whirl of the Greek epic. There are places 
in Homer where, as in his speaking horses and 


his blood-distilling myrtles, even Pope confesses 
that the machine would have been better than the 
monstrosity. But Helen is sufficiently natural for 
our daily contemplation, and far more alluring 
than many of those who have passed as fashion- 
able beauties. 

If not Helen, then her typical sister is here 
upon these isles of Greece. 

I see her apparelled in pink satin, moving in 
stateliness through the sylvan dells. Sometimes 
she can be seen under a yellow or scarlet umbrella, 
" serious as those intent on love," with her gay 
cavalier, whose summer hat is adorned with a varie- 
gated ribbon of a broad swath ! The scene is 
Greek. Grecian graces pervade the isle despite 
the mode. They fill the air with visual enchant- 
ment and honeyed sounds. True, these graces 
and Helens are dressed a la Parisienne or, re- 
cently, on Viennese patterns, and even in Pera 
fashion. But no toilet can conceal and no dress 
enhance the glory of their beauty. 

In several passages of the Iliad we have de- 
scriptions of the Grecian ideal of the beautiful 
woman. Powers, when he makes his Greek slave, 
and Canova, his Venus, copy the statues of 
Phidias or the effigy of that Helen who was 
teterrima causa between Greek and Trojan. 

In Book xiv. of the Iliad we have a poetic 
picture of the dress of the Grecian woman 2500 



years ago. It was very simple. After the inevi- 
table bath and the fragrant unguents Oriental cus- 
toms she ties up the radiant tresses and casts a 
white veil over her hair the original yashmak. 
Then she has a mantle for her whole body 
the feridjie. Then she hangs her pendants 
and puts on her sandals. This was the dress 
which the magic girdle of Venus enclosed when 
Juno borrowed it to please the god of Olympus, 
and in which many a Circassian beauty is arrayed 
to please her pasha. It was the dress of goddess, 
princess and lady, until its simplicity was corrupt- 
ed by the later Asiatic fashions, which Isaiah de- 
scribes in his third chapter. 

But it is Helen's beauty that I take to be the 
best standard of ancient Greece. Homer gives us 
her portrait. He pictures her at the loom. All 
his heroines are industrious and work golden webs. 
But he does not give as full a catalogue of her 
special beauties as we would like. Her mien is 
majestic ; her graces are winning ; she moves a 
goddess , she looks a queen ! She has the celes- 
tial descent. Her charms make men fight nine 
years on her account. But what is the color of 
her eyes and hair ; how tall is she ? These questions 
remain unanswered. Although the Greeks pre- 
ferred the goddess of love to be golden-haired, and 
worshipped Juno as blue-eyed, yet in general, 
among the Greek females of our isle the blondes 



are exceptional. There are some among the 
Turkish women whose mothers are doubtless Cir- 
cassian blondes ; but then, their eyes are dark as 
night, and wonderful as meteors.. Our Prinkipo 
Helen is pure Greek. She affords opportunity 
for the display of her charms and her wavy, grace- 
ful figure. She does not conceal her form under 
the ungainly feridjie, although sometimes, like 
our Greek lady from Bourdour, in the picture, she 
dresses elaborately. Besides, she is devout and 
that helps her, as it does the Turkess. There is 
no doubt of the fact, that the many kinds of prayers 
and their frequency in the. Greek and Moslem cere- 
monies tend to make the person willowy in grace 
and facile in movement. These prayers are to be 
executed with minute and easy exactness of limb 
and motion. The Turks pray at least five times a 
day. The Greeks make genuflections whenever 
they pass a church or the image of a saint. I can- 
not reckon from theological data how much move- 
ment there is required in the. Greek ceremony, but 
the Moslem demands twenty-six postures for each 
prayer. The very devout use many courses of 
eight postures each. Nine times eight is an excel- 
lent number, which, with the concluding postures, 
make seventy-four. Then there are special prayers 
at certain seasons, which my informant enumerates 
as follows : " for Ramazan, for the seven holy 
nights ; for drought, famine, pestilence ; the funeral 


prayer, the battle prayer, the marriage prayer, and 
many others, each of which must be executed in 
its own way with the utmost particularity. The 
slightest deviation or mistake destroys the merit of 
the whole, and the performer I mean devotee 
must begin anew." This constant genuflection 
from early childhood makes the form lithe and the 
vertebrae curve in lines of loveliness. No one ever 
tires of meeting such courtesy as both Turkish 
and Grecian people of both sexes bestow. Piety 
and Beauty meet each other ; Goodness and Grace 
kiss each other ! 

I would not depreciate the women of other 
climes, nor extol personal charms above mental 
culture and virtuous merit. The Greek woman 
may have at her tongue's end a dozen languages. 
Her time at school has been so absorbed by them 
that she has, perhaps, neglected to acquire other 
information and discipline. She, however, be- 
comes a wonder for sweetness of voice. Her 
articulation runs the gamut as her ancestress 
touched the lute. Much less would I make un- 
due encomium upon the Turkish women, who are 
greatly secluded from the world of letters, learn- 
ing and social intercourse. Still it is true that 
for physical grace the Greek beauty has no par- 
allel but her own. The blondes of Boston, with 
glasses before their acute orbs ; the brunettes of 
Baltimore, with their easy flow of talk ; the girls 


of Norseland, with their golden tresses and ceru- 
lean eyes ; the senoritas of Seville whose beauty 
made Byron beatific, all pale before the maidens 
of Prinkipo, who as much excel his Maid of 
Athens as she excelled the dowdy and gaudy 
girls who figure in the novels of " Ouida." 




BUT are there no Turkish ladies on your isle ? 
Yes, my fair or stern reader, there have been 
about fifty here this summer. Six reside immedi- 
ately in the rear of our villa. Their house has 
the sign of Turkish seclusion at its windows the 
croisde. They walk out over the hills with the 
children ; no man accompanies them. It is their 
custom never to promenade with their husbands 
or their male relatives. Their children are as 
pretty as pictures. The women are yashmaked 
in white tulle over head and face, and this group 
has white feridjies. They look like a bevy of 
Dante's ghosts, moving in the gloaming of the 
evening, or sitting upon the hillside, as quiet 
and mysterious as the dumb folk of Rip Van 
Winkle's vision. This group is not so attractive ; 
but there is another group who live by themselves 
near the Calypso hotel. They are the wife, 
daughter, and sister of a Bey, with their female 
companions. They are veiled, but not much. 
Sometimes I meet them unaccompanied by their 





Nubian eunuch, and when the veils are coquet- 
tishly en abandon. They take donkey rides 
around the isle, morning and evening. They 
sit upon the animal with all the grace consist- 
ent with their clumsy outer garment, the ferid- 
jie. Their head-dresses shame the new-born 
snow. Their feridjies are of all colors : one is 
of golden yellow, one of royal purple, one of 
white silk, and one is as blue as the Bosphorus. 
The eldest has black silk. They wear the neatest 
of French boots. 

The other evening these ladies were mounted 
and in a blithesome mood. The donkey-driver is a 
Greek ; he, too, was frolicsome ; in fact, the keen 
air of the isle gives to all jocund spirits. The 
ladies were arbitrary ; and on their request the 
driver pushed the animals up hill and down dale, 
while the riders screamed and laughed like chil- 
dren just out of school. One of the fair company 
rode an obstinate donkey. She was left behind. 
My Dalmatian serviteur, Pedro Skoppeglia, and 
myself were on a rush behind them upon our don- 
keys. May I not mention, sub rosa, that my wife 
was not with us on this occasion ? The lady who 
drops to the rear calls to the driver in vain. He is 
occupied with the other three ladies. But we do the 
work of punching up her donkey, and away she flies 
like John Gilpin. We gallantly drop to the rear as 
we approach the village. They draw rein until we 



turn down a street, when the belated one drops 
her veil to bid me " Bon-soir" I, too, must drop 
the veil. I said that my wife was not there. 
Do you ask me, " Was she beautiful ?" She was of 
Circassian mould and passing fair. She was the sis- 
ter of the Bey. " Were the others beautiful ?" Yes, 
of various types. The lady of the bon-soir was gold- 
en-haired. She had dark melting eyes, eyebrows 
of faultless arch and arch ways corresponding. 
Her color was that of a sunset rose, creamy, tinged 
with pink. The old song I heard in Damascus 
came back to me with its refrain : " Beautiful was 
the pomegranate ; but the wild bird sang to the 
rose." She needed no such toilet as the Oriental 
women of Isaiah's description. She sat upon her 
animal like Helen if Helen may be supposed to 
have ever sat upon a donkey, except metaphori- 
cally. One must have recourse to Oriental meta- 
phor and exaggeration to color her photograph. 
Her shape, was it not as graceful as that of the 
cypress? The shafts of her eyes beneath her 
lashes were unsparing. Thus the poet of Persia 
would sing of her : 

"Oh! Queen Rose, thy slave is beggared; his 
whole heart is only one wound. Smile but once 
again and his head will touch the stars !" 

I believe I mentioned that my wife was not 
there. Besides, there is a certain reserve which 
one in my relation to the American ensign had 


to sustain upon the island. The best I could 
do was to request my wife to make advances to 
the fair Turquoises ! This she did through a 
mutual friend, a Swiss lady of their acquaintance. 
Then followed an invitation to a sail in the launch 
around the isles, and a picnic al fresco in the 
beautiful bay of Halki. Surely no Congressman 
who voted for that launch and reads this chapter, 
will regret such tender advances in the direction 
of the haremlik by a prudent minister and dis- 
creet husband. Yet yet, the wild bird will sing 
to the rose. 

Seriously, while these ladies understand French, 
as do their relatives, the question arises : 

What else do they know ? They do not attend 
to the cooking in their homes. That is all done 
for them, and generally out of their households. 
Their slaves do all their home work, except em- 
broidery, which Helen and Penelope and the rest 
of the Homeric heroines performed as a ladylike 
employment. There arises a new Eastern ques- 
tion, and after all it is a question much moot- 
ed among medical men, whether our fair sisters 
should enter largely upon and join in the mental 
toil and tournament of active life. Exceptional 
culture on this isle has not, as has been contend- 
ed, removed the " fittest " women, those physic- 
ally perfect and most likely to add to the produc- 
tion of generations of high-class brain-power, 



from out of the ranks of motherhood. The sweet 
girl-graduates of Greek descent here whether 
of raven or golden hair are in no danger of 
losing their vital forces as, women by excessive 
study of something beyond the languages and 
graces ; for languages and graces seem to be drunk 
in with their mothers ' milk. The Oriental woman, 
says Flaubert, is hard to understand, as we are 
not permitted to know her. But this is not the 
case with the Greek, who never could assimilate 
with the ultra-Oriental customs. After all, from my 
observation here, I accept as true to life the de- 
scription of a happy home life and wife as well de- 
picted by an Oriental king, Solomon. He says : 

" Who can find a virtuous woman ? for her 
price is far above rubies. The heart of her 
husband doth safely trust in her ; she will do 
him good and not evil all the days of her life. 
She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth 
meat to .her household, and a portion to her 
maidens. She girdeth her loins with strength 
and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that 
her merchandise is good ; her candle goeth not 
out by night. She layeth her hands to the spin- 
dle, and her hands hold the distaff. She 
stretcheth forth her hands to the poor; yea, she 
reacheth forth her hands to the needy. Her 
husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth 
among the elders of the land. Strength and 



honor are her clothing ; and she shall rejoice in 
time to come. She openeth her mouth with 
wisdom ; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. 
She looketh well to the ways of her household, 
and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her chil- 
dren arise up and call her blessed ; her husband 
also, and he praiseth her. Favor is deceitful, and 
beauty is vain ; but a woman that feareth the 
Lord, she shall be praised." 

Has the curriculum in our female colleges been 
productive of such ornaments of home as the Wise 
King describes ? is the question yet to be decided. 

The British Medical Association, through its 
spokesman, Dr. Moore, epitomized one side of the 
question, when it said: ''This higher education 
will hinder those who would have been the best 
mothers from being mothers at all ; or, if it does 
not hinder them, more or less, it will spoil them, 
and no training will enable themselves to do what 
their sons might have done. Bacon's mother, intel- 
lectual as she was, could not have produced the 
' Novum Organum ; ' but she, perhaps she alone, 
could and did produce Bacon." 

The other side of the question might well be 
illustrated here, for in language dissenting /r0 hdc 
from the Association, it may be truly urged 
that where there is naturally good intellect 
and a good physique, and where these are sus- 
tained and improved by judicious feeding, exer- 


cise, and employment, we should have no fear 
of subjecting girls to any strain which the ordin- 
ary forms of so-called higher education would in- 
volve. We do not believe that either they or their 
offspring would be in any respect the worse for it. 
The question is a personal one ; and it is only on 
personal qualities that it can be rightly decided. 

It cannot be rightly decided by flippant flings 
at the Ottoman women, nor at the time-honored 
custom of " shamefacedness " in women which Paul 
commended. The Greeks to whom the Gentile 
apostle addressed his admonitions were not then, 
and certainly were not in the time of the empire, 
so pure that they could throw stones at their later 
Turkish competitors for empire. " The Greek 
emperor," said Gibbon, "demoralized, with his 
uncurtained harem, the very Turk." 

It is very seldom that a stranger, even if he 
knows the Turkish language, and presumes to in- 
terrogate, ever has occasion to receive a response 
from a Turkish woman. I have read of one or 
two instances, but perhaps these are travellers' 
stories. In a volume written some forty years 
ago, its author, the ubiquitous Mr. Smith, says, 
that while he was in some distant province, mak- 
ing a sketch of a Saracenic mosque, he was kindly 
invited within by the Ulema. While engaged in 
his sketching, several Turkish ladies passed by. 
Curiosity getting the better of them, they turned 



their wonderful eyes, first on the artist, and then 
on his artistic performance, and inquired with al- 
most American power of question, but with Orien- 
tal poetical expression : 

" Whence come you, O my soul ? Whither are 
you going to travel ? Oh, Allah ! who taught you 
to place upon paper what you see before you ? " 

Was it possible that Turkish ladies should have 
so transformed themselves in a moment by the 
sight of an ensanguined Englishman as to have 
rivalled our Yankee power of interrogation ? I 
cannot believe it, nor that " the approach of some 
great white turbans cut short the conversation, and 
compelled the damsels to beat a retreat," 

It is a frequent question, What have the Turk- 
ish women to do when they, meet ? As far as I 
could judge, in passing a group of them at the 
Sweet Waters, I never saw them lacking in the 
quality of loquacity. They have great powers of 
conversation. " Loquunter Maria, Sibilla, et ab hoc, 
et ab hac, et ab ilia." Instead of " Maria" insert 
Zeuleika ; instead of "Sibilla" read Fatitna ; and 
then let the hoc, hac, et ab ilia run at their pleasure. 

It is always a source of astonishment to the stran- 
ger in the streets of Constantinople or Pera that so 
many ladies of the harem are seen driving around in 
their broughams, and shopping without any attend- 
ant, not even the Nubian. Their yashmaks have 
become so thin that the police have had their at- 


tention called to them, yet without making much 
reform in that particular. In private life a won- 
derful change has been made in the costumes of 
the Turkish women. % My wife has a couple of 
dolls which illustrate the latest phase of Turkish 
progress in this respect. The Turkish dress of 
thirty years ago is almost obsolete. The Turkish 
ladies like, where they have an opportunity, to talk 
of the innovations that have been made in their 
costumes and customs. 

It cannot be true now, as it was four decades 
ago, that the women of the harem, after the first 
little offices of the Koran, pass the remainder of 
the day in ennui. Some of their time must be 
spent in dressing and changing their ornamenta- 
tions. The bath is always handy, and in winter 
season they no doubt nestle much under the cov- 
ering of the tandour. But not now, in summer, 
do they bury themselves among their cushions, 
and thus in perpetual kef pass their time away 
in the land of sleep and dreams. Habits of 
industry have invaded the harem. Thus utter 
idleness has ceased to be an attribute of the Turk- 
ish female. 

The sentiment which fills the Prankish be- 
holder when he views the Oriental female is a per- 
petual theme of laudation, as well in prose as in 
poetry. The swan-like woman, " rubbed with 
lucid oils," or the Asiatic eve, like the first rise of 



moonlight, " large, dark and swimming in a 
stream which seems to melt in its own beam,"- 
these and other fervid pictures show how poetic 
sensibility has endeavored to wreak its observa- 
tion and feelings upon expression ! 

When Theodore Gautier visited Constantinople 
he did what many tourists undertake : he described 
some of the unveiled beauties of the harem, and 
made some delineation and coloring of its inmates. 
After some conscientious misgivings, he indites 
this paragraph : 

" ' But how do you know this?' the reader is 
about to say, no doubt, scenting some gallant ad- 
venture that I have failed to recount. But my 
knowledge," said he, " has been attained in a man- 
ner the least Don Juanish in the world. In wan- 
dering in the cemeteries, it has frequently hap- 
pened to me to surprise involuntarily, some lady 
adjusting her yashmak, or having left it open 
on account of the heat, trusting for security to the 
solitude of the place. That is the whole story." 

Such an experience is not unusual to those who 
sojourn in the East. It has often been my fortune, 
or misfortune, to come unexpectedly upon some of 
these beauties of the harem when aloof from their 
eunuch or other guardian. Those on our isles 
are fond of labyrinthine rock rambles. I often 
came upon them in covies of a half-dozen in the 
sweet nooks and shades of the woods. It always 

3 6 4 


struck me as strange that they should have so 
much care for their faces when they did not seem 
to be otherwise fastidious. 

My experience, however, in the harem has been 
limited. The adventure which I will now narrate 
is a little beyond the limitation. When visiting 
Constantinople some six years ago, and while stop- 
ping with our consul at Therapia, certain Turkish 
ladies made a call at the consulate. One of them 
was an Egyptian princess. She was a cousin of 
the Khedive, and a grand-daughter of Mehemet 
Ali, the great Albanian soldier of Egypt. I hap- 
pened to take a cup of tea with her, and this, to be 
mutual, required that she should drop her veil just 
a little. She was widowed, and lived at that time 
with her mother in one of the palaces on the Bos- 
phorus. I need not say that she was beautiful and 
accomplished Ayesha, the favored wife of the 
prophet was not more so. "Her eyes were bril- 
liant, and yet human, like the reflection of stars in 
a well." 

When we were visiting Egypt, in February, 
1886, I received a note from the princess to call at 
her palace. She desired to prefer a request of the 
Sultan, whom she knew to be my friend. The re- 
quest had reference to some diamonds. They had 
been mortgaged by her husband, and she desired 
to recover them. This request had a touch of ro- 
mance about it. I ventured, in company with the 


vice-consul, to make the call. Her palace is quite 
after the manner of the haremlik, which I had 
frequently seen when the birds were flown. 
When I enter it I find the inevitable colored 
eunuch. He dismisses the consul and solemnly 
directs my steps up the winding staircase, at 
the same time using the most singular sound, 
not pronounceable, or translatable into type, 
by which to warn all the females of the house- 
hold of the approach of a man and a Giaour. 
I surmount the stairs with much timidity. The 
number of heads which pop out of the doors 
of the various landings, and which are with- 
drawn with sudden surprise, astonishes me. 
At last I reach the apartment of the princess. 
There I find her seated upon an ottoman. After 
making the salutations and rnany inquiries, and a 
statement of the business, we smoke our cigar- 
ettes together, and drink our tea. We talk of 
palms and palmistry, of Egypt and England, of 
Arnold's " Light of Asia," and American petroleum, 
of the beauties of the Bosphorus and the navi- 
gation of the Nile. After this interview I am 
escorted by the same colored gentleman, amid 
the same indescribable noises, down the winding 
stairway to the door. On the way down, one of 
his sable highness's ejaculations scares one of 
the resident young ladies. Not being aware 
of my proximity, she is ascending the stairs. 

3 66 


At the terrible sound she rushes for the banis- 
ters. She attempts a speedy covering of her head. 
She is embarrassed. So am I. I, too, rush for the 
banisters, for support, and thus we meet. There 
is no screen, and no scene ; but there is a hasty 
parting, all too hasty ; while the eunuch gives out 
another tremendous sound, as if all the Indians of 
the " Wild West " were incarnate and vociferous in 
his person. I reach the sweet and balmy atmos- 
phere of Cairo, with considerable perspiration. 
This is my wildest adventure in a harem. 

It so happened, during the past summer, that 
this fair princess desired to pay some Moslem 
rites upon the grave of her mother, who died 
the summer before upon the Bosphorus. She 
came to Constantinople. Her physicians or- 
dered her to Prinkipo. There she took a house 
near ours. As in duty bound, I make my 
devoirs. My wife invites her to ride, in our 
launch, amid the isles of our beautiful little ar- 
chipelago. Without much reflection, I procure 
a carriage, drive to the villa of the princess, 
and tap the knocker. Her man-servant comes 
to the door, and soon she appears, radiant in 
all the beauty of her white tulle yashmak, 
and as stately as became one of the line of Me- 
hemet Ali. I assist her into the carriage. She 
sits by the side of my wife and they make the 
vivacious French incandescent with their talk. We 



drive to the scala, where the flag and the l-aunch 
await us. Unfortunately, at this time, one of the 
ferries from Constantinople comes in and lands 
about a thousand passengers. They see the Gia- 
our, with a stove-pipe hat. He is gallanting a 
Mahometan lady. The rumor reaches the Kaima- 
kam, or governor of the island. We return to the 
scala after our sail among the islands. We drive 
her to her home in the carriage which is waiting. 
What is the result ? Before I take the boat that 
day for Constantinople, my driver, horses and car- 
riage are arrested by order of the Kaimakam ! 

This is, indeed, an adventure not provided for 
by any instructions from the State Department. 
At once I send a remonstrance to the Kaimakam, 
against the arrest of one in the employ of the 
American minister. It is couched in unabridged 
terms, such as are embraced in the word inter- 

It is needless to say that this proceeding 
reached the prefect in the city, and I fear the 
Sultan and the palace also. There had been an 
apparent infraction of the Turkish law which 
forbids a Mahometan woman, unless of princely 
rank, to be seen upon the street with any man, 
and more especially a Christian. The plug-hat 
made a prima facie case. However, the matter 
was decorously settled, as it should have been ; for 
the Kaimakam had exceeded his authority. It 
was a matter outside of his jurisdiction. His con- 


duct was arbitrary. He had no warrant or process 
for the seizure of the horses, the driver, or carriage. 
If there had not been an Oriental princess in the 
case, who exhibited some sensibility in relation 
to her royal independency, which perhaps she 
had overstepped, the matter might have figured 
in our diplomatic correspondence. As it was, the 
affair was properly settled without a pursuit of 
the governor. My impression is that he did not 
know the quality of the lady, nor the capacity of 
the minister. I had occasion to remedy at the 
palace any seeming mischief which might have been 
done. The princess left us the next day, which 
was the beginning of Bairam, in order to sacrifice 
a sheep upon the grave of her mother. She was 
a devout Moslem, as well as a most charming and 
intelligent woman. 

I am sorry to undignify the Kalmakam of the 
Princes Islands, who produced so much trouble in 
this romance of the princess. Since I left the 
island he has become an ex-Kai'makam. This 
means an unknown quantity not only in algebra, 
but in politics. He was removed from office. He 
had been unmindful of the relation of meum et 
tuum. He overdrew his salary, by more than a 
thousand dollars, an act without legality on his 
part, or satisfaction on the other part. 



EARLY in the fall (1886), we commence prepar- 
ations to leave our home at Prinkipo. These 
preparations look beyond Constantinople. Be- 
fore they began the President had kindly ex- 
tended his permission that I should return to 
America. In fact, I had intimated to him that 
it would be agreeable to me to resign my office, 
as nearly everything possible to be done to 
place it in running order had been accomplished. 
Through the favor of the Sultan, and the partial- 
ity of Said Pasha, his accomplished minister of 
foreign affairs, and with the intelligent assistance 
and counsel of Mr. Garguilo, the dragoman of 
the legation, I had so far pursued my instructions 
from the Department of State as to complete two 
treaties which had been suspended during nearly 
a dozen years. The first involved extradition, 
and the next the question of expatriation and 

The American reader will be pleased to know 
that the business of the legation at Constanti- 
nople by no means gives the leisurely and slip- 
24 369 



pered ease which might be inferred from a perusal 
of these pages. There is no time in which some- 
thing may not be done to forward the interests of 
the American people, and especially of the teach- 
ers, preachers and printers who are, through 
American benevolence and means, permeating 
and smoothing down the ancient ways of the 
Orient. But, whether encouraging this work, or 
keeping up with the current events of American 
newspapers, or watching the operation of the 
Turkish life-saving service ; or whether riding 
around the suburbs of Constantinople and trying 
experiments in ploughing, as an amateur farmer, 
whereby I have sometimes relieved the tedium of 
absence ; or whether making an excursion to 
Egypt, and its temples, tombs and other historic 
lineaments ; or whether upon the Acropolis observ- 
ing the new developments of archaic statuary as 
photographed by the modern artist ; or whether 
bounding by day and night upon the ygean, un- 
der the terrific impulses of an equinoctial tempest, 

I have found enough leisure in my active life in 
the Orient for some of that sedate and quiet re- 
pose which so many believe is the only occupation 
of an American minister at the Sublime Porte. 

Having thus successfully accomplished my mis- 
sion here, all this delightful wintering and sum- 
mering amid these resorts of historic grandeur, 

and at this theatre of diplomatic contention, are 


easily relinquished for the gratification of home 
tastes and predilections. After much considera- 
tion, and many lingering farewells in my heart be- 
fore they were spoken in the word, my mind is 
made up. It is now the animo revertendi. Not 
the least difficult to sever among the attachments 
which I have formed in the Orient is that for this 
paradise of Prinkipo. But the soughing of the 
wind presages the autumn ; and the dropping of 
the leaf upon the mosaic pavement of our garden, 
and the brown tinge of the foliage, make our with- 
drawal from the pleasures and precincts of this 
Eden of the East less regretful than it would be 
in the vernal season. 

Not unfrequently there were some lively 
breezes upon the Marmora. The south wind 
always brought its waves, and though the little 
launch was capable of mastering them, it was not 
so comfortable, especially for the ladies, to be on 
board during these emergencies. More than once, 
when we started from the bridge in Constantino- 
ple, the seeming calm of the sea was disturbed 
and the waves dashed over the sides of the vessel. 
On such occasions, we had to run behind the 
island of Halki for shelter. As the launch was 
often decorated with flowers, and especially the 
hydrangea, it presented quite a gay appearance 
with the red cushions for the seats and the rugs 
for the floor. But when the waves were rough, 


these flowers looked as if they had been on a 
spree, and returned to the garden considerably 

We selected a calm time and a good photog- 
rapher for our farewell view of the scenery of 
the islands. Nature never gave to mortal man a 
more beautiful day, a more serene sea, a more 
azure sky, or more balmy air for a last visit to 
loved and familiar scenes and associations. As I 
look about me, preparatory to this journey on the 
launch, I feel that nature gives to the weary eye 
under such a sky and amidst such scenes, a balm 
that does not come even from sleep in a less 
favored climate. Here is the very home of the 
Kef, of dreamful repose in a sunny sheen bathed 
with the mildest airs. The landscape changes its 
mood with every vista of observation. The sea 
copies the land in its coquettish phases. Soft are 
the midday sighings amidst the bosquet of the 
pines. On the placid shores the waves forget 
even to make their drowsy melody. No fountains 
play on the terraces ; no purling streams gurgle on 
their way to the sea ; no torrents bound from the 
mountain steeps ; no sound is heard except the 
faint chants in the churches and the monasteries, as 
they float by in waves of softest melody. Here is 
blissful rest ! Looking through the avenues of 
the trees, down upon the waters of the Propontis, 
I see the distant sails becalmed, with here and 



there streaks of smoke from the funnels of the 
great steamers bound for the Dardanelles, or the 
little boats, looking ever so small, carrying the 
mail to Modena or Ismid. Is there any motion 
on the surface of the sea ? No. Look again ! 
Is it the shimmer of the sun on the blue surface ? 
No ! it is a breeze so mild that the nautilus 
of the Southern seas might safely spread its 
tiny sail. 

Fanned by this gentle breeze, we begin our 
farewell photographic trip. Our first course is to 
the front of the town of Prinkipo, with its craggy 
heights and superb buildings and its inlets and 
shadows. These our photograph speedily cap- 
tures. Then turning around a rocky point, -upon 
which sits as a miracle of beauty a little domes- 
tic temple, we anchor our vessel and bid " all 
hail !" to the fishermen hauling in their nets from 
the rickety platform. They are acquiescent and 
submissive, these fisherman, and give themselves 
to the lens of the photographer without effort 
to escape. After a feeble attempt to take them 
all, while they are manning the ropes and bringing 
their burden of fish to the pebbly shore, a wild, 
strange being presents himself upon the long plat- 
form of the pier! His advent is greeted with a 
roar of laughter from the fishermen. He is saluted 
by his name, which is none other than Demetrius. 
He is not of the ecclesiastical kind. But he is of 



the orthodox race, and thoroughly Grecian. He 
carries a basket in which he has been gathering 
some provender among the islanders. He has a 
rough cap upon his shaggy, curly black hair ; and a 
coat and pair of shoes which no beggar on the 
bridge at Stamboul would envy. Pedro, our Dal- 
matian servant, and George, the sailor of the 
launch, surround him. They press him along to 
the conspicuous front of the picture. He is 
taken, in much better company than he is ac- 
customed to, As soon as his picture is finish- 
ed and his recompense paid, some of the villagers 
who have gathered upon the shore pick him up 
bodily and pitch him into the sea. 

Of' course this was a very rude proceeding. 
On my remonstrance, the villagers expressed re- 
gret. They said that they had often done the 
same thing to him before; that he could swim 
like a duck, and that, like a cork, he was light in 
the head and therefore not properly the sub- 
ject of homicide by drowning. He does not 
drown. He soon swims out and clambers up the 
pier. He makes no protest. He likes his duck- 
ing ; for does it not bring him reward ? I am 
free to sav that never have I seen in the Orient 


a man who, before his involuntary douche, needed 
washing more than did Demetrius. 

The English engineer who leased our launch to 
the government for the use of our legation, lives 



on the western shore of Prinkipo, upon a perpendic- 
ular cliff overlooking a deep and delightful shady 
cove. Upon the rocks which form the cove a 
summer house is placed with exquisite grace. It 
is the house of my friend Jones, the lessor of the 
launch. He is not at home to give us our fare- 
well, but his family come upon the cliff, and along 
with the villagers they look wonderingly at our 
photographic operations. It is a pretty point of 
observation for a picture. The dim islands of 
Oxia and Plati are in the hazy distance. Halki, 
with her red rocks, is but a mile away. Above 
its minarets and Turkish naval school and its 
long yellow buildings we discern with a glass the 
lazy inhabitants curiously observing our perform- 
ance, while a winged catgue, and three Greek 
priests in a boat, pass by. They shake their 
heads solemnly at the damp, unpleasant body of 
Demetrius, who stands a most pitiable and limp 
object upon the pier. Along the road upon the 
shore we perceive carriages and donkey parties. 
They seem to be floating along in a mirage of 
sunlight. We hear the tinkle of the bells on the 
water donkeys. 

We do not linger long at this our favorite spot. 
We put off from the shore. We stop the launch 
in the open sea near Prinkipo so as to make its 
picture and that of the island of Halki whither 
we soon shall sail. We are intent on seeing once 



more the beautiful bay upon the eastern side of 

The landlord of the restaurant, or Diaskalon, 
sends his boat to us as soon as we anchor in the bay. 
He greets us upon his shore, loads my wife fairly 
down with flowers from his abundant garden ; 
and after many compliments to America, and a 
bottle* of wine, a cup of coffee and a smoke, we 
are about to return when the insatiable pho- 
tographer assails the landlord and his company. 
He takes the whole group, amidst surrounding 
foliage, in which every prospect pleases, and the 
very sun, as well as our host, seems to smile. 

Our intention had been once more to visit Oxia 
and Plati, so as to take a view of the palaces of 
Bulwer and some of the beautiful scenes upon those 
rocky islets. But by this time the breeze fresh- 
ens and we are content to fire at long range at 
these singularly romantic spots. On returning 
to our home we stop before the monastery and 
church of St George upon the rocky promontory 
of Halki. The long avenues of cypresses which 
lead up to it are reduced pictorially in a twink- 
ling, by the refinement of art. The prettiest 
part of this church is on the outside; although 
it has recently been renovated and glorified by 
new pictures and adornments from Russian 
co-religionists. Most of these churches, for rea- 
sons already hinted, are not attractive. These 



old and stained churches within the Turkish 
dominion, which are so rigidly orthodox, are in 
great contrast with the temples and basilicas of 
which Moscow and St. Petersburg furnish the 
best examples. The new Temple of the Saviour 
at the former, and St. Isaac's at the latter place, 
have no equal for the splendor of their pictured 
adornments, the gracefulness of their architecture, 
their innumerable lighted tapers, their gorgeous 
vestments, their rare and original music, and for 
that wonderful mystery of the gilded iconostos. 
or altar screens, heavy with masses of metal and 
jewels and the pictures of saints. The choirs in 
the cathedrals of Russia are conducted with ex- 
traordinary precision and harmony. In this har- 
mony there is no organ or other instrumental 

We return to Prinkipo. In the afternoon 
we make a detour of the island. This is done 
with the purpose of photographing one souvenir 
from the spot where the Imperial palace of the 
Empress Irene once glorified the earth. It is 
now only a hole in the mountain. But we fill it 
with solid objects of historic interest. What the 
sunless treasures of this Imperial palace were 
will never be known, especially as the treas- 
urer had not been heard to audit the catalogues. 
But we find memories outside of this vacancy. 
They are Homeric and Hellenic. Stretched on 



the shelly shore are some idlers, while others 
"whirl the disk," if they do not dart the javelin. 
We meet our Albanian guide and his dogs. He 
is embroidered as if for a gala time. Indeed I no- 
tice that carriages are on the road to a grove near 
St. Michael's church, where there is a table spread. 
It is covered with dainties, fruits, wines and meats 
for a hundred people. The place is very select for 
such an entertainment. It is a church/?/V. The 
breakers on the east shore of the isle begin, with the 
creamy, dry Sillery of their crests, to anticipate the 
feast ; and on the west side there is what Byron 
called the " Sunset glow of Burgundy." Children 
play about in the fragrant bushes. But not a word 
awakes those historic people who once revelled 
here and whose dust is not even folded in tombs. 

On our return to our villa in the evening, we 
find " Far-Away Moses." He is purchasing much 
bric-a-brac and material for us to export to our 
home. Mark Twain has made him immortal, in 
his " Innocents Abroad." But our photograph 
gives to this remarkable Israelite a pictorial cos- 
tume which is a sample of the best appearance 
which a Hebrew may make in Turkey ! 

This almost closes our album. Last, though 
not least, come our own household. They are 
all present for the picture which we desire, in- 
cluding even our old " Amty," the cook. Pedro 
Stands prominently upon a pedestal like the 



Dalmatian hero of many an incident of the classic 
Olympus or of his Croatian home. Our gardener 
is not on hand, except by deputy. Xenophon on 
this occasion is represented by Epaminondas. 
My wife's little Armenian maid stands upon the 
steps beneath " old Amty," who has the emblem 
of her vocation, a ladle, in her left hand. But a 
better picture is taken of the family group out- 
side the grilled gate of the villa. Pedro is there 
mounted upon a horse, as if he were the Don 
Quixote of our expedition, while the minister, 
like Sancho Panza, upon a donkey, modestly 
turns his back to the instrument. An English 
helmet temporarily destroys something of the 
nationality of the minister. But our photo- 
graphic mania does not end until our two female 
servants of the household are caught as it were 
in masquerade ; the maid Marie being dressed as 
a Turkish lady, and Theano in the present Greek 
costume of her class in the island. Here "night's 
descending shadow " hides the view, and we close 
the camera. 

A few weeks more and the summer will be 
ended. Its luxury of flowers and leaves and the 
bright blue of the skies and the brighter blue 
of the seas around our islands will have passed 
away. The green of the woods will soon turn 
to russet and gold, at the touch of the frosty 
autumn. All the endearments of this wonderful 



and beauteous land will soon pass into the realm 
of memory. Even the freshness of the " Sweet 
Waters " will pass away ; the dark green ceme- 
teries, the monuments and columns, the hippo- 
drome, the mosques and minarets, the fountains, 
and the chosen haunts with which we are fa- 
miliar, these will pass away with their enchant- 
ments, associations and attachments, but never 
shall the blissful days of these isles of "eternal 
summer " pass from our fond recollection. They 
will remain among the bright oases of our life. 

A few more days we linger at our lovely home. 
We make our adieux to neighbors and friends 
upon the island and do the necessary packing for 
our long journey. Better to leave it now in 
the cool beauty of its refreshing haunts, than 
later, when November brings its mist and chill, to 
make the solitude, which is so pleasing, lonesome 
to a sense of pain. 

What will the groves be, when winter rules and 
makes this clime less clement ? We do not desire 
the solitude of dearth or death ; but rather that of 
the hill and valley, where " the harvest of a quiet 
eye " may brood and sleep in our own heart. We 
do not desire to see the mansions here, so lately 
filled with music and jocund with domestic joys, and 
the gardens so full of pleasance and fragrance, 
deserted of both flowers and houris. We do not 
wish to wait until, the clouds, which are now 


white as wool and rolling in light masses, over 
the hills of Asia, become black with storm and 

The ways here are sufficiently untrodden now, 
but what will they be when even the donkey-boys 
cease to accelerate the tourist, and the peddlers 
have gone South with the birds, to the isles of 
the Grecian archipelago ? The privacy of the 
pine forests, the brown of the vineyards, the si- 
lence of the warblers, and, above all, the cessation 
of the crowds of people who come here for recre- 
ation, will make Prinkipo and "the Princes," en- 
chanting though they are, too secluded for a 
diplomat or a tourist. 

The story of our summer is told. The wreaths 
begin to wither on the tomb. A thousand 
thoughts and studies hang over them. But these 
are not dead garlands. The Angels of Memory 
will resume their places at the gate of this para- 
dise. The flaming sword drives us into the old 
and busy world, under the glaring sun and the 
uncloistered heat and dust of our earnest and 
active American life; but amidst all the turmoil 
and worry of that life, we shall turn to the " Pleas- 
ures of Prinkipo " ; 

" In the shadow of thy pines, by the shores of thy sea, 
On the hills of thy beauty, our heart is with thee." 



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trations from designs by CHARLES GASCHE. 

" Mr. Robinson's narratives exhibit a freshness and glow of delineation founded on 
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NAN. Seventh edition. 

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A series of essays covering a wide variety of topics. 

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11 CANOEING IN KANUCKIA. The Haps and Mishaps on Sea 
and Shore of the Statesman, the Editor, the Artist, and the Scribbler. 
By C. L. NORTON and JOHN HABBERTON. Very fully illustrated. 
Second edition, with supplementary chapter, being details of canoes 
constructed down to 1886. 

" A more enjoyable book cannot well be imagined. It makes one think of summer, 
of rest, of recreation, of unpremeditated and unrestricted fun." Albany Argus. 

thirty-four illustrations. 

The well-known author of " Patty " has interwoven with some fascinating narratives 
of travel a selection of Norman and Breton stories and legends which are very quaint and 
characteristic, and her husband and fellow-traveller has contributed a series of charming 
pencil sketches of the scenery and the people. 

ERMAN, late Minister Resident of the United States at Athens. Third 

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This book is due on the last date stamped below, or 

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